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The Time Machine

The installation is dedicated to the time aspect of what we call «real time transmission». It uses the Internet streaming and satellite transmission protocols as a delay line creating a permanent on‑site soundscape.

The technical concept is rather simple - a microphone (or a set of mikes) placed in an exhibition space picks up the immanent sounds (footsteps, chatting of the audience, or simply ambient noise) and feeds the Internet streaming server, which is up‑linked to a satellite. The stream is then received by client software and passed to an on-site PA system, which delivers this delayed signal back to the microphone. Obviously, the microphone receives both the delayed signal and the on‑site noise, so the loop is updated in every cycle. However, the immanent sounds are never passed directly to the PA system, so it gives the audience only the «echoes» of what they did a couple of seconds ago (only a bit louder).

This is much alike Frippertronics (developed by Brian Eno for Robert Fripp in early 1970's), which involved two Revox A77 tape recorders placed a couple of feet away, delaying the sound by the time that the tape needs to travel from the recording head of one recorder to the reproduction head of the other (and mixing the delayed signal with an incoming one).
Eventually, "The Time Machine" reveals the fact that there is no thing such as «live» or «instantaneous» transmission, every transmission is telling us a sort of history. The effects are the same as watching the distant supernova explosions which tell us about the history of space. The Time Machine does this on a micro plane.

In cooperation with the electrolobby of the Ars Electroncia festival 2004



Aleksandar Vasiljevic