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what the machine understands about you doesn't actually mean anything to it (2020 - )

an ongoing collection of animated listening paths for solo listener/(s)

Stream on YouTube :: Download on Dropbox

Considering the conceptual nature of what the machine understands about you doesn’t actually mean anything to it, part of me is tempted to provide an in-depth discussion complete with oodles of footnotes, citations, and swaths of wonderfully esoteric academese. In truth I would enjoy discussing this dimension of the work but, above all else, what the machine… aims to provide embodied experiences. With this being said I still find it useful to briefly communicate the skeletal intentions and concepts pertaining to this work and then step aside to allow participants to engage the work as they wish:


  • what the machine… produces no sound, instead it foregrounds the “event-ness” of the listening process itself rather than resultant perceptual objects;

  • These animations present solo listeners with listening-paths which are to be performed by the mental manipulation of one’s listening apparatus [view instructions on how to interpret these animations];

  • These paths are randomly generated by SuperCollider and thus are often at odds with everyday methods of listening;

  • The unorthodoxy of the listening tasks is meant to engage one’s listening faculties in challenging and novel ways leading to the formation of new connections with one’s familiar surroundings and galvanize reflection upon the limitations of our listening capabilities;

  • It is expected that some will find these listening-paths meditative, amusing, confusing, and/or uncomfortable;

  • Lastly, what the machine… seeks to inspire communal interaction in the age of COVID-19 isolation by providing an online space where participants can share their experience and respond to the experiences of others.


Happy listening!


P.S: If anyone is interested in having the aforementioned discussion of the conceptual underpinnings of this work, reach out!

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