Antenna

by Juliana Herrero and Thomas Grill, 2018/19
commissioned by rotting sounds

Steel cable, color, acoustic transducers, digital sound processing, text

The “Antenna” installation creates an interface between sound and its environment. It transmits sounds generated from encoded text. These acoustic vibrations are resonating through the networked body of the artwork, amplified and broadcasted into the surrounding air. The artwork recites the text of “The Art of Noises” (L’arte dei Rumori), a futurist manifesto written by Luigi Russolo in a 1913 letter to his friend and futurist composer Francesco Balilla Pratella.

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Live audio stream of the installation at the Auditorium of Rotting Sounds

An audio codec translates the individual letters into musical chords, which are in turn sent over the wire sculpture. These vibrations are modified within the filigree structure by the environmental conditions — wind, rain, dust, birds sitting on the wire. At the other end of the wire network, the sounds are picked up again and translated back into text. This process can be followed on a small display. By the time, the environment of the sculpture inscribes itself into the text by disturbing single bits of the manifesto, slowly turning it from readable text into environmentally informed noise.