Monday 16 April 2007 until Sunday 29 April 2007

Statistical Harp

Statistical Harp is an installation by Coti and D. Charitos that takes its name from the ancient Aeolic Harp, which was probably the first ever sound installation (6th century B.C.) that was usually located on hilltops and produced sound by the wind vibrating its strings. 

In the case of the Statistical Harp, the wind as a vibrating source is replaced by a literary text (namely James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake), which is fed into the system in a non-linear manner. The flow of the text is broken into letters and consequently into ascii code, which functions as a kind of ‘Morse code’ trigger for a series of motors plucking wire ropes. These wire ropes play a multiple function in this installation: firstly, as structural elements, secondly, as sound producing material and thirdly, as visual elements. The structural role of the ropes is to support all input/output devices, including the multi-channel speaker system, which produces the spatialised auditory aspect of the experience. Additionally, the occurrence of the text’s letters is statistically analysed and the result of this analysis affects the pitch parameter in the processing of sounds, originally produced by the wire ropes and consequently transmitted by the speakers. 

The presence and movement of visitors within the installation environment is detected and used as another parameter affecting the manner in which the Statistical Harp transforms the flowing text into audio. This information transformation is one of the main issues that Coti and D. Charitos have dealt with when producing Statistical Harp. The main intention of the work is to create a constantly evolving spatialized sound environment, modulated by the flow of a particular text and visitors’ activity in an indirect and non-apparent manner.