Sonification of Virtual Space #1: Lost

Mark Brady – mbrady a t - +11.604.254.3766

Project Summary

Lost is an ambient audio-visual installation, mapping the activity of a transient community of unwitting performers, who are participating in peer-to-peer file-sharing. At this moment; music, video, images and software are being freely traded in a community of networked peers. This network has no no centre; it is an ephemeral cloud, a pool of pop consciousness. List attempts to touch the surface of this pool, and obtain a sense of what it's like in this abstract place?

Posing as a member of the network, this installation betrays its peers and submits for public scrutiny the flow of live queries from throughout the global network. These queries form a base, often almost pornographic, revealing essay of popular desire.

The installation employs two modes of presentation to depict this flow of desire; a simple visual display shows a sampling of the torrent of queries and provides the audience with a introduction to the audio presentation. This display is more complex multi-dimension rendering: A spatialized storm of sharp and subdued bursts of sound immerses the listener in a field of sound corresponding to every arriving query. A blurred voice chants out queries letter by letter, reflecting the fractured network data. Ever present is the deep hum of the network connection, which at times falters if our node looses its connection to another peer. When the rate of porn requests peaks the soundscape model is broken introducing a more musical layer of rhythmic sinister breath.


Please listen to and view the video.

Project Status

Lost was completed in the December 2003 in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Computing Arts and Design Science (CADS) department's Masters of Applied Science Program at Simon Fraser University. Lost has been presented to students and staff in the CADS Interactivity Lab.

Installation Requirements

This project is implemented as a live custom software and commodity hardware system. The artist will need to be on site to perform the installation. Once installed Lost will run continuously without attendance. The artist will require a high-speed internet connection, LCD projector, screen and 4 powered speakers. The artist will supply the remaining software and hardware.