Sam Kidel hosts online sound exhibition inspired by Google data center

Sam Kidel hosts online sound exhibition inspired by Google data center

It was roughly three months ago when the Bristol, UK-based Sam Kidel intrigued with the provocative Disruptive Muzak, a sort of inverse musical commentary on people being forced to listen to generic or bastardized tunes. And, distantly similar to the way those on the receiving end of Kidel’s Skype calls patiently called out to the assumed person on the other end (check out our review for more details), it'd seem like a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa would be a space searching for humanity. The picture that inspired Kidel's newest project shows wide walking aisles and rows of servers under blue-purple lighting, and from there, thoughts of the center's acoustic persona presumably overwhelmed concerns about Google's sometimes weird omnipresence. A burgeoning conceptual artist may well be expected to ask, "What does that data center sound like?”

Clearly unconcerned with mild boundaries to realizing his artistic vision, Kidel somehow pulled the architectural schematics from that Google data center and then used software to “simulate the space’s reverb characteristic.” He then “fed” his composition of computer music into that spatial replica and made the result listenable in full for Issue #14 for EBM(T), “a virtual aural room for discovery and sharing of sounds based in Tokyo.” Contextual knowledge might be affecting my perspective, but I can totally hear the environs of a mammoth server room.

Here’s a clip (or maybe the whole thing?):

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