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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Tara Rodgers Image-as-Sound MP3

This is the second sound art piece I’ve come across that takes as its source the January 20, 2009, inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. For it, Tara Rodgers investigated the pixels of an aerial view of the National Mall on the day of the event, and converted the RGB color data to, as she put it in a brief description at her safety-valve.org website, “sound and noise. … [E]ach line plays back left to right in stereo, from top to bottom in the photo” (MP3). The photo that served as the score for Rodgers’s “Aerial View of Inauguration, In Sound” appears here:

[audio:http://www.safety-valve.org/audio/012009.mp3|titles=”Aerial View of Inauguration, In Sound”|artists=Tara Rodgers]

The resulting audio is understandably pixelated, each split-second sound a perfectly formed, standalone object in time. They bounce like several dozen little balls on a taut metal surface, like rain drops caught in slow motion.

The other Obama sound art entry was by Christopher DeLaurenti (disquiet.com).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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