I recently began a collaboration with Conor Barry to create an outpost of his networked sound-art installation, Send A Message, at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The piece explores the nature of long distance communication through using the speed of sound as the pace at which audio is transmitted between all locations.
With instant voice messaging services and telecommunications, we use technology everyday to exceed the physical limitations of sound as it moves through space. This piece reverts to the ‘true’ speed of voice communication in order to better comprehend not just the ways in which we interact with others over long distances, but also the scale of our planet. As you speak into the telephone, your voice propagates outward, and reaches all of the other telephones in the installation.
The speed of sound is surprisingly slow at 761mph. If you speak into the installation, your message will arrive to each installation after the following time periods;
Ann Arbor in 51 minutes
Athens in 6 hours 13 minutes
Belfast in 3 hours 55 minutes
Berlin in 4 hours 58 minutes
Fredrikstad in 4 hours 37 minutes
London in 4 hours 18 minutes
Portland in 3 hours 19 minutes
You can currently leave a message in the Computer Arts Center center in the Tower building at MassArt until May 1st. If you can't make it to the installation, you can listen to a stream from the perspective of the Ann Arbor location.