The Sound of Technological Singularity

For my second instalment (view my first here) of Where I’m From, I decided to take a generational approach rather than a personal one. We are digital natives; we were effectively born inside computers and this has had a huge impact on the meaning of our lives. The world has become a computer in itself.

This collision of art and science is an idea I drew from the work of Carsten Nicolai. Similarly, Haroon Mirza experiments with electrical noise to create art. My inspiration was technological advance because it is inevitable – but up until what point will it be seen as desirable? Will there be a point in time where technology advances beyond the capacity of humanity to control it? This is a feat which is much anticipated by academics and conspirators alike, known as technological singularity.  Are we there now? What does this sound like?

This is an evolving moral panic which I drew upon to craft my piece. The piece begins slowly and somewhat elegantly, before building up to a busy, intense and fearful climax, at a point where technology is too big; it’s everywhere, we can’t control it anymore. I conveyed this through increasing my use of reverberation toward the centre of the piece, and adding complementary layers positioned at either the left or right speaker, to create an uncomfortable sense that the audience is being stalked. A human screams when it all becomes too much, and the noise subsides. However, just when the persona’s panic retreats, an eerie artificial voice whispers “access denied”. This is to warn against reaching the point of no return.

 

Sound cloud Image: source

Dial-up sound taken from here

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