I am just a Virtual Entity

fugit irreparabile tempus

il tempo fugge

What happens when the sound of a room travels through the Internet?

This sound piece investigates the effect of time lag and delay of the sound of a room sent on different servers and replayed on a local machine and on the metamorphosis that these changes in substance imply. Through experimenting and analyzing the impact of translocal navigation through space, Tempus Fugit attempts to find phenomena generating the emergence of aesthetically interesting sound.

Network Music Festival, Birmingham, 23 Feb 2013
Music Hackspace, London, 15 Nov 2012
noise=noise, London, 4 Oct 2012
Dorkbot, London, 25 Jan 2012
Queen Mary University, London, 24 Jan 2012

Main references to this work are Alvin Lucier, in particular his work "I am sitting in a room", Agostino di Scipio's compositions made of non recorded environmental sound, and Roy Ascott's telematic experiments.

The ancestral dream of ubiquity has been partially fulfilled by current technology and the practice of network music has gone through a prosperous development over the last decade. Reasoning about sound from a physical perspective, we can say that sound is pressure when it propagates in a room, that it is voltage when it is in the form of electric current and that it becomes information and bytes when it is encoded and decoded by a personal computer. From a metaphysical perspective, sound, passing through these different forms, does not change its essence but changes in substance. What happens when the sound of a room travels through the internet? Let's imagine a setup where the ambient sound of a room, after being captured by a microphone, is transformed in signal and the signal is digitized and encoded so to be streamed to a remote server. If the computer streaming, or another computer placed in the same room, becomes also a client of that server, the sound of the room is received in that same room with a time delay. If the stream is amplified, the sound of the room is augmented by its own sound coming from a fragment of time in the past. This past sound is enriched and modulated by the artifacts of compression and translocal navigation. The positive feedback, or Larsen effect, is complex because it is generated by the sound of the room on the one hand, and by the live stream that has a delay on the other hand. Time and space become a sonic perception: when the sound comes back to the room where it was originated, it is deformed and affected by travelling through remote places, and while it talks about the present, it brings to memory a fragment of time that belongs to the past.

Il tempo fugge. E poi ritorna.

Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore.
Yet meanwhile it flees, time flees irreparably, while we are captured by the love of every little single thing.
Virgil, Georgics, 29 BC.

Tech (2013, now archaic)
- PA
- internet connection
- mixer
- 1 zoom recorder
- 1 broadcast mic
- 3 sound generators
- 3 servers (AT/NL/NO)
- 1 Gumstix computer on module
- Overo arch
- 1 Lenovo x61
- Debian OS
- mplayer, Gstreamer, Jack
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