Wednesday, September 24, 2008

photoshopped music

In physical media, it's impossible to literally transform image into sound or sound into image, but with digital files, everything breaks down to little zeros and ones. Therefore, with a little file hacking knowledge, you can tell the zeros and ones that make up, for example, a high resolution scan of that photo of my father racing armadillos to become a sound file. It'll sound like sharp noise, but if the image is large enough, it may be rhythmic and it may also be interesting.

I've been listening to some examples of this kind of sound art. It has excellent conceptual potential. Scott Wilson made this piece during the 2000 election: Photo-Shopped Music (mp3 file, about twelve minutes long, and I have no idea if the link will be active for very long).

The noise and static are photos relating to the election, mostly of Al Gore and California. The static that drowns out the clips of Al speaking are pictures of Bush. The things I find most interesting about the piece are the process and the fact that Scott Wilson is Canadian. I have mixed feelings about political art. I guess I feel like there are only so many ways and so many times you can say the president is an asshole.

I do like this, though. Most of my sound work is live, analogue recording ("How retro!") that I mix with digital editing and sampling, but I'd like to go in this direction, if just to try.

Also, this is at my school right now, and Ami Mills is going to try to book us a show inside of it: The Speaker Project

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