Network sonification and the algorhythmics of everyday life
El Hajj, Tracey
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Today, public concern with the extent to which they influence people's routines, and how much they affect cultures and societies, has grown substantially. This paper argues that, by listening to networks, people can begin to apprehend, and even comprehend, the complex, ostensibly "magical" nature of network communications. One problem is that listening semantically to networks is incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Networks are very noisy, and they do not, for instance, use alphabetic language for internal or external communication. For the purpose of interpreting networks, I propose "tactical network sonification" (TNS), a technique that focuses on making the materiality of networks sensibly accessible to the general public, especially people who are not technology experts. Using an electromagnetic transduction device — Shintaro Miyazaki and Martin Howse's Detektor — TNS results in crowded sound clips that represent the complexity of network infrastructure, through the many overlapping rhythms and layers of sound that each clip contains.