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Digital Hippocampus

Interactive Installation
Supertimes (Marco De Mutiis, Philip Kretschmann, Kenny Wong)
2012
Dimension Variable

Concept


Digital Hippocampus is an interactive installation made of ‘invisible’ wireless network IDs. These are created as a digital transformation of the actual words recorded from the audience in a physical space.

 

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The installation is made of hidden microphones that record the voices of the surrounding space. The audio data is then analyzed through a custom made software that employs Google’s speech recognition. The words and sentences are then assigned to multiple routers’ network SSIDs, creating a digital representation of the communication happening in the physical world. This data appears as a dynamic narrative visible through common smartphones, laptop computers and any device that has wifi connection capabilities.

 

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Digital Hippocampus explores the idea of digital representation of verbal communication, and the limitations of technologies to perfectly recognize and reproduce physical phenomena. The notion of the hippocampus as that human requisite for the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory is in here explored even further. Its natural function is extended and reiterated in the digital world where the data of mundane and at times unimportant / banal conversations are randomly selected and assigned to a wifi network name.

Through a speech recognition software, words, whispers, laughter and all kind of communication sounds are translated and transformed from their invisible and ephemeral sonic nature into textual renditions, that now compose a syllabus of shared knowledge. It is the knowledge that shapes our understanding of others and places and yet it is the fractured, fragmented and bias digital interpretation of it. These often imperfect matches and decontextualized forms create an alternate ‘hidden’ text universe, a digital reduction that yet accounts to the complexities of human communication.

 

The work was created by Supertimes, an art collective consisting of Marco De Mutiis, Philip Kretschmann and Kenny Wong.

Documentation

Chai Wan Mei 2013, Pure Art Workshop, Hong Kong

 
The Lumen Prize Exhibition 2012, The Space, Hong Kong
 
Soundtracking #John Cage 4’33’’, Videotage, K11, Hong Kong

Exhibition

 

Acknowledgement