When Old Technologies Were New - Composition #1

This work proposes a ‘Church Of Technology’ that holds Google as its one true God. The omnipresence of the multinational corporation, combined with the all­seeing nature of its Earth satellites, and its often cloud­based existence, offer slightly disturbing biblical parallels. This project is a meditation on on the way in which the world has become increasingly secular only to adopt technology as a new form of mainstream religion.

The visuals of this piece were generated through the use of Google Earth’s ‘Street View’ implemented within custom openFrameworks and Processing apps. The criteria for exploration was quite simple - to travel to randomly generated points around the globe to simulate the ability of being in many places at once.

Through machine learning I created a generative soundtrack using granular synthesis - the samples of which are determined directly by what the computer sees. For example, If the landscape is a bustling city then electromagnetic recordings of servers can be heard. Conversely, if the scene is placid and green in colour then the sound of birds chirp through the noise.

The other sounds present are recordings which have been through a digital process called convolution which allows for the features of one sound to be applied to another. In this case I took Apple’s classic text-to-speech voices and applied it to ancient Byzantine chants to create a hybrid cybernetic character to vocalize the idea of a new age of technological devotion.

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When Old Technologies Were New - Composition #1by Joseph Smith
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When Old Technologies Were New - Composition #1
Joseph Smith
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February 25, 2018
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