Tactical Sound Garden, cultivating sounds in public gardens

Tactical Sound Garden

A virtual space that sprouts from the inner urban fabric. An interface that let the users – equipped with iPods, mobiles and laptops – enter wifi networks and simply share sound files. This is the configuration of Tactical Sound Garden, literally an open source software kit for ‘gardens’ of intelligent sounds. It’s a project with multiple authorship, supported by the New York State Council of the Arts and realized by Mark Shepard in collaboration with Fiona Murphy (Field Recording Sound Production). Navigating within a garden the users can download/upload the sound files on a common server accessible through the kit. It’s undoubtedly a parasitic system, that exploit the urban areas with wifi access, infiltrating them. The basic idea of personalizing the almost anonymous urban space, making it more livable, makes the concepts of sharing and free knowledge access proliferate. A necessary and sufficient condition for this modus operandi is the mutual users’ respect and a deep moral integrity, needed for the lack of protections that generate this (type of) networks intrinsic vulnerability. From ‘flaneur’ to ‘datadandy’ (as William Gibson defined it), we witness the birth of the sonic wardriver – somebody who spent its leisure time looking for wireless access point – a new metropolitan subject that tests his identity check in its own nomadism and precariousness.

Francesca Tomassini