machine life in the bush of ghosts / w. colin black
sound art performance (2018)
in this work, the electronic sound of mutated machines rings out across an imaginary soundscape to produce a surreal sonic landscape inhabited by wandering automata. the sound world of “machine life in the bush of ghosts” explores the possibility that inanimate objects can possess a kind of life or spirit in the age of artificial intelligence. the work is the collision of two diverse arts practices: that of tin dozic who repurposes everyday objects and turns them into sound machines and australian sound artist colin black who explores notions of place and site through the use of sound.
through this collaboration, anechoic screams of machines become figures and are given a heighten and poetic context in imaginary sonic scenery. dozic’s dystopian sound machines are made from e-waste and various construction materials: dc electric motors become oscillators, metal and wooden bodies are resonated with speakers, and old tools are given a second life as sound instruments. also, organic structures such as plants become musical interfaces. all of these instruments are made specifically for this collaboration. black’s sound recordings and manipulations serve as the frame in which these machines are placed. prerecorded and live synthesized sounds communicate with the machines and create a whole dystopian world for this setting. this way an organic feedback system connecting the soundscape/local and the machine is brought to life as the machines impact their sonic landscape and this sonic scenery influences the machines.
we ask ourselves, what is the life of machines in this (fictive) world? how do we subvert the techno fetishistic world of modern machine culture? what is our role in this world and who are we (mad scientist, priests or just mediators of machine life)?