Torrential Forms will be exhibited at re-new 2013 in Copenhagen, Oct 28 – Nov 2. re-new is an annual media art conference and festival and serves as a meeting point for all those active in the art-science-technology amalgam. Torrential Forms is one of the 26 artworks on display in the exhibition.
The installation Röstflöden extends the work initiated in Berlin by focusing on Swedish classical novels. A room in Stora Teatern in Göteborg was turned into a locus for spoken fragments from Swedish audiobooks, letting the visitors experience the transient presence of voices travelling in hidden file-sharing networks around us.
The work was exhibited at Textival (March 23, 2013) at Stora Teatern in Göteborg. Textival is an annual literary festival exploring boundaries between literature, text and art.
Fragments from Several Remote Nations of the World is a rearrangement of Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Tale, governed by the principles of file sharing. What you hear is an authentic BitTorrent transmission of an audio recording of the novel. Each voice fragment reflects a stream of bytes transmitted over the internet, carrying bits of acoustic content represented digitally. As can be heard, pieces are transmitted in non-linear order from many sources simultaneously.
The soundscape tells a contemporary traveller’s tale about the journeys of digital packets of data. At the end of the transmission, all words in the book have been spoken in partly random order, after having reached their destination from several remote places in the world.
The work was performed as part of Sound Devices n.3 (March 28, 2013). Sound Devices is a series of curated monthly events exploring the creative connection between sound and literature, taking place in historical Rathmines Library, Dublin.
Focussing on the currently most downloaded audio books, the installation at Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (.CHB) summons the fragmented voices and texts that flow around us, offering glimpses of a hidden literary lifeform.
The installation consists of surround sound, projections and printed graphics, highlighting different aspects of P2P transmissions such as geographical distribution, fragmentation, and data genealogy. One of the projection surfaces illustrates the geographical distribution of peers, lighting up when active. Another projection surface displays ongoing transmissions and their gradual assembly.
Activity on both surfaces are synced with sonic fragments travelling across the space. These fragments of recorded voices reflect actual file-shared content as it is gathered and assembled from various locations.
The installation also features a gallery of “family trees”, mounted as prints and visualized on the facade of the building. These ancestry graphs convey the process of assembly in its entirety. Like fingerprints or snowflakes, each transmission is unique. Where the shape of a snowflake depends on temperature and humidity, ancestry trees reflect data fragmentation and the fluctuating swarm of file-sharers participating in the transmission.