Twittering Machines – Installation : 2014
New live performance edition of Twittering Machines – here…
Humankind maintains an ongoing fascination with attempts to decipher, understand and categorise birdsong and animal communication. Twittering Machines invites us to ponder upon these fascinations, and plays with birdsong imitation, translation, message sending, encryption, interference, miscommunications, and mappings. Language and vocalisations can express metaphors through poetry and abstractions through music and song. A dansette record player spins a vinyl recording of John Keat’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ translated into Morse Code. Software listens in, live, and translates the code back into text. Extraneous sounds in the room can be detected by the software which interfere with the translation, interrupting the Keats poem. A Bavarian bird imitator cheerfully whistles the songs of local birds amongst the hum of radios intermittently receiving signals from each other and the surrounding chirping objects. A reflection on the delicate state of bird populations, as suitable habitat becomes rarer and climate change confuses the seasons.
Below is a new iteration of Twitteirng Machines Installation premiered at Audiograft festival at OVADA, Oxford in 2018. Twittering Machines was first commissioned for the Fort Gatehouse at Chatham docks for TÖNE Festival of light and sound 2014. Details of this site responsive edition are here.