Sound Parasites

Wearable Sound Robots/Soft Sculptures 2006

In collaboration with Marilyn Fontenrose

    Pure, Office Superstore Space, Boston, MA 2006
The Sound Parasites were originally developed for the Pure show curated by Lisa Lunskaya Gordon. This exhibition, held in an abandoned mall retail space temporarily sanctioned by Harvard as an independent gallery, focused on the confluence of biotechnology and art and featured many emerging and established Boston-area artists.

The Sound Parasites are designed to feed off the verbal energy of sound-emitting hosts, disrupting their sonic integrity but providing an annoyingly/amusingly glitched remix of the original sound material. They are worn by the artist, who then interacts with the public, or they can be alternately deployed by being spontaneously attached to other performers (or any sound-producing medium) to form a simultaneous audio intervention. Their autonomous chatter satirizes both the vapidity of our current culture of ubiquitous communication devices and the elaborately futile surveillance that characterizes our current political regime.

The Parasites are built using a version of my Sound Modules, consisting of a custom-designed circuit board, PIC microcontroller, and control software and pattern algorithms written in C, as well as a condenser microphone and several small speakers.