Bufferrrbreakkkdownnn Arkestra, aural network test

Marcos Destructos

Marcos Destructos (aka Marc Chia, aka One Man Nation) has completed a compelling investigation of data transmission over computer networks with his recent “Bufferrrbreakkkdownnn Arkestra“. The Singaporean musician’s goal is to highlight the role that the delay of data transmission (which depends on the amount of data traffic on each network) has in artistic performances involving streaming processes. To test this, eight audio sine waves files were sent to eight different points of a single streaming server operating system. If the networks work at the same speed, this should have resulted in hearing a single sound formed by the eight original sinusoidal tones – in reality what happens is that the different uploading and downloading times vary considerably. This causes a breakdown of the ideal unique sound, in different rhythms determined solely by the different operating speeds of the involved networks. The imperfections of the medium then become a constituent element of the One Man Nation performance: through a reversal of perspective, the delay (that continues to characterize computer network transmissions – so deprecated by any good performer) is “redeemed” and turned into an aesthetic object characterizing this project.

Vito Campanelli