The Listening Machine

Ancient life was all silence. In the nineteenth century, with the invention of the machine, Noise was born. Today, Noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men.

-Luigi Russolo, Art of Noises, 1913

It is our birthright to listen, quietly and undisturbed, to the natural environment and take whatever meanings we may. Long before the noises of mankind, there were only the sounds of the natural world. Our ears evolved perfectly tuned to hear these sounds-sounds that far exceed the range of human speech or even our most ambitious musical performances…

-Gordon Hempton, One Square Inch of Silence, 2009

Russolo created his Intonarumori (noise machines) in the early 20th century. Your task is to create a 21st century response that reflects our changing relationship with noise. This will take the form of some type of Listening Machine. Because this is a very quick turn around (3 weeks per project) I recommend you consider this to be a prototype listening machine, that in some way demonstrates what you would make if you had more time. You will rank your preferences from the choices below, and I will assign groups asap.

Research Groups


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