The Carrier

by Almut Schilling, 2019

Stainless steel table, microscope, rhyzopertha dominica, compact disc, digital audio tape, floppy disc, contact microphone, headphones, loudspeakers

Information can be understood as the conclusion of time, space and material. Represented by digital data information relies on a carrier to be processed, interpreted and stored. Depending on the logic of the carrier the bitstream (001101011…) needs to be transformed for burning, magnetising and electrifying. Listening to music through a magnetic tape (DAT) differs significantly from playing it with a CD or MP3 player. An information carrier does have a physical materiality, specific intrinsic properties which shape the sound, a characteristic noise, changing with time.

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

The data needs to be processed for interpretation through a signal chain of specific elements. Something like an ‘interpreter’ translates the bitstream. The MP3 player enables us to conceptually hear the sound. A bug (Rhyzopertha dominica) transforms the bits and BYTES just in another way, we might be able to learn to hear and understand? Let us mix up the conventional interpretational chain of digital sound processing. Let us hear the binary materiality, metal growing through oxidation, a cd interpreted by a bug, a MP3 file played through mould, heat and dust.


You can find archived sounds of the piece (1 min per hour) at the Rotting Sounds Archive.

Screenshot of the interactive walkthrough by Kathrin Hunze.