ghost in the machine


C8400 examines the relationship between humans and technological devices (consumer electronics). Devices have been designed for a certain purpose. To what extent does the idea of the designer correspond to the needs of the user? C8400 ab/uses electronic devices (radios, tape recorders, sound mixers) as autonomous sound sources. The devices stop acting as sound players only, but become musical instruments by themselves. Sound carriers in the form of cassettes, CDs or radio waves serve as a sample bank, supplying readily available raw material. The device is freed from its slave work of re-playing music and spoken word, and becomes the source of original soundscapes.

Another idea behind c8400 is to preserve creativity on a grassroots level. Creativity in the media context becomes the domain of fewer and fewer people. The majority of population is put into the role of consumers. Devices become more and more limited in their functions and that in spite of manufacturers’ claims about being multifunctional and versatile. The possibility of free adjustment of a device is getting more limited and replaced by a “broader amount of choices” - a term fully compliant with Orwell’s doublespeak, because it does not mean anything else than the limitation of these choices.

The origin of the c8400 project was the work with electronic consumer devices in an effort for an alternative way of utilizing them, putting them into a different context. It is rooted in reality, in my environment. By extracting raw sounds from raw reality I created an antipode to popular “music”, and that by using equipment primarily designed to play back this kind of “music”. When creating sound compositions, I am of course influenced by music I am listening to. In the end, the “real world” percolates even into this compositions of machine music, be it on the form of sound samples or rhythmical - “musical” - structures. ounds in the compositions of c8400 are often generated through feedback or an internal physical loop - that means situations when the device interacts with itself, while other signals are penetrating into this inner world from outside. The linear model of the communication process with feedback is imposed onto the device which becomes its central element, both source and destination, and ceases its role of a simple signal transmitter.