fyi (for your information):
Audio collected by the Bureau of Inverse Technology 1994-2004

Sound recordings sourced from 10 years of Bureau field work. This compilation includes news-historical actuality, environmental recordings, and audio produced in the process of technical research.

FYI is a Bureau strategy using audio as a means of organising and distributing information. BIT recording instruments occupy the same space as other news agencies and their devices, but employ different recording strategies to return substantially different results. The Bureau uses lightweight, triggered and embedded audio capture devices (model plane blackbox recorders, robotic dogs, acoustically-triggered webcams) to compile a systematic kind of sound/information. These sounds are released in the public domain and may be freely quoted, downloaded, remixed and resued.

BIT rotterdam april 2004

Click on image to play the audio.
[1:40.533 STEREO MP3]

realaudio feed from live emergency service events [14.4 kbs realaudio stream, dialup connection, compacted voice communications]
suicidebox - vertical-motion triggered camera system (1996)
The Suicide Box is a motion detection video system, installed in 1996 in vicinity of the Golden Gate bridge San Francisco. The system watched the bridge constantly, capturing video on sensing vertical motion. This soundtrack to the Suicide Box video documentary was composed from early webcasts of live police and emergency services calls recorded during Suicide Box deployment; an exercise in extracting melody or "musicality" from the harsh technical residue of information.

[04:59.268 STEREO MP3]

digital handheld scanner; bay area aviation frequencies; plane onboard microphone at 433 mHz; air turbulence; giant dna statue
bitplane - video spy plane (1997)
The bitplane is a video-instrumented model spy-plane released by the Bureau over Silicon Valley California, territorial heartland of the Information Age. A daring reconnaissance flight that returned aerial footage of expressionless corporate campuses, their vast concentrations of information seemingly resistant to photography from the air. Close listening to the plane's inflight audio recordings reveals resonant artefacts from the multiple layers of private information strata the bitplane was flying through. These include the acoustic effects of air turbulence over corporate artwork (Genentech's giant on-campus DNA sculpture, pictured left); pilot chatter from nearby NASA and civilian airfields; and transmission clicks and glitches from bitplane control-view video and audio transmission on public cable television channel 51. This audio was used to soundtrack the Bitplane video documentary (1999).

[28:05.735 MONO MP3]

digital scanner activated by voice activity on getty center communications channel 4
gettych4 - single channel security recording (1997)
BIT coverage of the opening of the Getty Center, Los Angeles. The Bureau deployed voice-activated digital equipment to systematically monitor the opening events from operational perspective of Security channel 4. Worker communications accreting over an 8-hour collection period documented the ambient humanitarian disaster of the museum's gala opening, information not realised or rendered by other newsbureaux in attendance.

[2:04.741 MONO MP3]

instore recording of display toys, San Francisco
toytalk - voicechip research (1997)
A sampling of interactive toys who/that refer to themselves as "we". The Bureau is conducting a study of early childhood/chiphood interactions, using voicechips to explore structures of participation in sociotechnical scripts. With utterances still-awkward, yet on the cusp of normalisation (and subsequent retreat into technologcal invisibility) the voicechips stand on the frontlines of of human/machine relations.

[4:39.900 MONO MP3]

handheld digital scanner; microsoft communications frequencies
microsoft way - information worker communications (1999)
The actuality of information work captured in worker-triggered recordings on and around Microsoft campus, Redmond Washington. The Bureau was using the smooth driveways and large sporting fields of the campus for test-release of several of its camera-fitted semi-autonomous agents (highspeed RC vehicles, robotic dogs, micro gliders). These agents were being deployed to cover initial labor unrest in corporate headquarters of the verdant Seattle region including Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Boeing, Seattle Times.

[2:04.741 MONO MP3]

microsoft birds
microsoft way - birdcall recordings (1999)
Low-level nature sounds at Building 1 Microsoft Way, picked up by BIT song-triggered sound equipment. BIT is producing a series of contextualised contemporary bird recordings for a forthcoming urban birdcall CD release (examining the existence of birds as embedded agents in a shifting technological landscape). BIT nature studies are predicated on an understanding of nature as not separate or intact, but active and co-existant with human/technological conditions.
[2:30.204 STEREO MP3]
bit webcam triggered by song; weatherproof housing
songbirds - song-triggered camera research (2002)
Further environmental recordings by BIT song-triggered webcam stationed wayside near Sangatte refugee camp Nord Pas de Calais, France. Both bird and human song fragments are audbile in this sample. At time of recording the area (in 1/2 mile proximity to the Channel Tunnel freight entrance at Frethun) was also under massive scrutiny by Eurotunnel security guards, French national police, riot police, Gendarmerie, international press, people-traffickers, heat sensors, tracker dogs and several thousand refugees.

[1:40.533 STEREO MP3]

airbourne videocamera mic; street protesters
ballooncam - floating broadcast unit (2003)
Song recorded by BIT balloon cam deployed 50-100ft over globally coordinated antiwar demonstration, lower Manhattan February 15 2003. The Bureau is developing airbourne transmission and software systems (headcount) to capture an accurate image-based estimate of crowd size. The balloon cam is hovering approximately halfway between the New York Times journalist helicopter altitude and the Indymedia journalist at ground level.

[7.18:860 MONO MP3]

voice modem; uphone recording system; distributed telephones
antiterror line - UPHONE phone-to-net audio architecture (2003)
The BIT antiterror line allows any phone to act as a networked microphone for recording civil liberties infringements and other antiterror attacks. All calls to a local antiterror number upload within 3-5 minutes to a public online audio archive. Entering immediately and systematically into the public domain, they form a material trace of the event, timestamped and incontravertible. These soundfiles are publicly available and can be used as evidence or remixed for DJ or radio play. The following samples include system tests, spoken reports and phone-recordings of actual antiterror attacks in progress.

[9:59.842 MONO MP3]

voice modem; uphone recording system; various distributed phones [home, booth & cellular]
sparrow report line (2003)
Using a similar technical architecture to the Antiterror line, the Sparrow line collects reports of a different incremental disaster, the catastrophic crash in the sparrow population around East London.

[2:21.333 MONO MP3]

telephone recording device; interactive voice systems: speakers are United premiere executive line [USA] and Transco meter point reference line [UK]
sorry duet - Bureau voicechip research (2003)
A further demonstration of voicechip speech synthesis in telephone systems using the first person personal pronoun, "I", to refer to themselves as the speaker or agent. Transatlantic mix.

[06:32.198 STEREO MP3]

3chip video camera left on for duration of LAX security attack
LAX rollerblade part1 - Los Angeles International airport (2003).
BIT engineer's mix. 16 police attended national emergency at Los Angeles international airport domestic transit lounge. This audio will be featured in the forthcoming "BIT Mobility" video (2004)
Supported by the Research Fellow programme of Media Design Research, Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam bit thanks: Anja Beuchele, Robb Bifano, Heath Bunting, Sneha Solanki, Laura Waddington, Getty, Genetech, LAPD, Microsoft, Transco, United Airlines.