This project is about encoding and decoding, in other words, defining the transformation of symbols from one set of symbols to another one.
...It is about hearing music in the city lights.
The project has two parts and they could be seen as independent works but also as elements of one work.
Together the elements complete a loop that shapes an audio-encoding-decoding piece.
2013 / ‘Street Compositions’ @ “Home/s”, curated by Daphne Dragona and Katerina Gkoutziouli, Goethe-Institut Athens & Benaki Museum, Athens (GR)
In the first part of the project I use the evening streets as an input. The time when daylight fades, windows start lighting up, I record (photograph) the buildings along a taken street to make large-scale panoramas.
Then I create a punch card where the code is created by punching holes where the lit windows are. The punch card is decoded by a custom made music box into a tune.
The outcome is a rhythmic soundscape of the street. The sound is a reflection of a self-organized pattern of urban structures. It’s variation and complexity depends on scale and liveliness of the moment and the environment. Trough simple interaction (just by playing it), a mechanical, hand-cranked machine turns people’s unconscious collaboration into a personal, poetic moment.
The second part of the project aims to bring back the melody to its original environment as an installation.
The melodies are recorded and played endlessly in custom made concrete speakers along the streets. This act completes the encoding-decoding process and preserves those transient, insignificant moments.
They exist once again in a different form.
This work comes from my fascination for transformation and contrast.
First, scaling a busy street with buildings and many homes into a minimal analog melody, played by a small mechanical object. Then taking the output of this fragile instrument, into a solid, almost unmovable concrete cube.