Dmitry Morozov: Metaphase Sound Machine

  • ©2015, Dmitry Morozov



    Metaphase Sound Machine


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    Russian artist Dmitry Morozov’s Metaphase Sound Machine plays off of our increasing dependence on the information and electronic noise that permeates our everyday lives. The project is based on the ideas of American physicist Nick Herbert, who created the Metaphase Typewriter—invented as a quantum device capable of communicating with ghosts—and Quantum Megaphone, a speech synthesis machine [5]. According to Morozov, Herbert’s interests also included the mixing of hallucinogenic drugs, paranormal activity, the nature of consciousness, and speculative connections. These early interests contributed to Herbert’s desire to design a quantum computer, but they did not confirm any theoretical research. Morozov’s piece was inspired by Herbert’s work, especially in relation to the amalgam of devices and networks that permeate our daily routines.

    The Metaphase Sound Machine works like the spinning radars that manage flight traffic at airports, but instead of looking for moving objects, the machine scans its vicinity for radiation from networks, cellphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Using an on-board Geiger counter, the machine gathers nearby radiation and translates it into sound waves based on its proximity. The element of randomness in Morozov’s work is derived from the data collected by the sensors, making the sounds produced truly unique every time the machine is activated. The kinetic motion of the system attracts visitors, causing a chain reaction as the machine senses their electronic devices, provoking further activation of the machine.

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