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Volume and Noise - 2012

Mediums and Methods

Antique Philco radio, social media, microcontroller, digital audio processing (FMOD), and software in C and C#


Portland, Oregon

This project is part of a series of intentionally complex modern sculptural interpretations of antique objects. This particular piece was created in direct response to the inundating political messaging prior to the 2012 election in my digital life. I imagined that if this were experienced a century ago, people would have had “Tweet Boxes” in their homes providing a constant verbal stream of political dogma in 140-character chunks. Of the sculptures’ two knobs, one increases the volume of the piece whereas the other increases the number and rate of statements read from one after another to an incomprehensible cacophony. A meter on the center face of the radio displayed the number of Tweets per minute. The statements were all mined in real-time from Twitter based on a collection of politically relevant keywords such as “2nd Amendment”, “Abortion Rights” or “Universal Healthcare” and were rendered into synthetic speech. This included audio processing to mimic a low-fidelity AM broadcast complete with radio static and crackle.

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