High Fidelity Wasteland I: 100 Year Old Quicksilver Cloud, sonifying decay


We have yet to fully understand the dimension and cultural implications of the post-industrial deterioration, with media archaeology on one side reconstructing processes and trajectories, and chemistry on the other to save us from the consequence of that decline. “High Fidelity Wasteland I: 100 Year Old Quicksilver Cloud” by Darsha Hewitt is the first work of a planned trilogy, commissioned by the Transmediale festival. In this installation she sonifies the decaying atmosphere of a thyratron, a one-hundred year old vacuum tube radiating a cloud of blue ionised mercury. The role of vacuum tubes, once at the core of early electric and especially electronic media (radio, tv, telephony, computing) based on communication networks, is here elegantly celebrated in its aural rendering of chemical waste, slow obsolescence and media nostalgia.


Darsha Hewitt – Hifi Wasteland I: 100 Year Old Quick Silver Cloud