I am sitting in a Machine

Tolle Arbeit von Martin Backes, eine Hommage an Alvin Luciers berühmtes Soundpiece I Am Sitting in a Room, für das Lucier seine eigene Stimme in rekursiven Aufnahmen bis zur Unkenntlichkeit verzerrte.

Martin lässt nun eine digitale Kunststimme folgenden Text rezitieren und diese Aufnahme schickte er dreitausendmal durch die MP3-Kompression. Das Ergebnis gibt's auf 30 Vinyl-Dubplates und als Web-Version.

I am sitting in a machine different from the one you are using now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and i am going to play it back into the machines compression algorithm again and again until the artefacts of the algorithm reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the artefacts of the mp3 encoding process articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a digital fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.​

Ganz besonders gut an der Arbeit gefällt mir der rückwärts gewandte Medienbruch: Eine künstliche Digital-Stimme in der Cloud wird zu lokal gespeicherten digitalen MP3s voller Kompressions-Artefakte wird zu einer analogen Vinyl-Platte. Toll! (Ich würde die Platte gerne mal von nahem sehen, man müsste die Kompressions-Artefakte in den Sound-Patterns des Vinyls deutlich sehen können.)

I am sitting in a machine; is an algorithmic work that begins with a recording of an artificial human voice reciting a text which is then run through an MP3 encoder over and over again. With each iteration of the loop, one may hear the artefacts of the encoding process reinforcing themselves and gradually distorting the artificial human voice by revealing its data format.

The work is a hommage to composer Alvin Lucier’s 1969 piece I Am Sitting in a Room. The work consists of two parts. The first part is a limited edition, 30 unit dubplate vinyl. The second is a web page application distributed via the Internet. In both renderings, there are 32 tracks selected from 3000 successive iterations of the 128 kbps 44.1 kHz MP3 encoding.

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