…/// Country m€UsiK

The Great European Acousmatic Socioeconomic Orchestra

“The motors and machines of our industrial cities will one day be consciously attuned, so that every factory will be transformed into an intoxicating orchestra of noises.”
Luigi Russollo: The Art of Noises, 1913

Multichannel sound installation.
Generative composition based on online, socioeconomic data

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Sound Sample

Country m€UsiK stages the interaction between different levels of information that takes place in the day to day of EU institutions through a spatial-acoustic representation of socioeconomic data of the region. The project investigates the relation between official statements released by EU news feeds and socioeconomic figures from 12 member states. By distorting the official discourse through the influence of financial and social figures, Country m€UsiK uses a multilayered semantics strategy to expose how these factors are determining the formation of a European reality and common language.

Twelve round, yellow speakers hang in a circle in a blue space, establishing a symbolic relation with the EU logo. Each speaker is linked to a country and placed according to its cardinal position, relative to the central, financial-political axis of Frankfurt – Brussels.

The central module collects RSS feeds from different online sources and transforms them into digital audio using a speech synthesizer. DA signal is then sent to 12 different processing modules, where it is further processed using online socioeconomic values (GDP, inflation, unemployment, risk premium, etc) from the country they represent.

The system combines centralized (central node) and decentralized (peripheral nodes) processes for the treatment of multilayered information in a way that physically (the presentation of the piece) and conceptually (its internal functioning) parallels EU decision-making procedures, the construction of political discourses and creation of social realities. Country m€UsiK aims at raising awareness towards how social and financial factors of each member state are determining their voice within the EurOrchestra.

Participants will experience an ever-changing spatial and acoustic imprint of the EU’s internal dynamics. They will also witness how each country’s socioeconomic position affects the final sound product (its voice). As an example, at a time like now when the crisis is affecting the south more than the north of Europe, the speakers standing towards the north would emit a more clear speech than the garbled and irregular voices heard from the south.

Country m€UsiK translates information and exchanges that occur in the public space of the Internet into soundscapes. The piece would be ideally experienced in other public contexts of communication and exchange of citizens such as train stations, hotel lobbies, European institutions or public buildings. The dynamic nature of the work is best perceived through multiple visits, experiencing it at different moments in a living, urban setting.

Country m€UsiK will also have complementary website - a further level of public, open space - where users can access the different stages of the process: the original, text news piece, its synthesized version, the socio-economic values and listen to the final soundscape. This step would close the information cycle by returning to the Internet the transformed data.

Concept and development in progress, by Caen Botto & Marta Ruperez, spring 2013