Manhattan is full of extra rooms! people scream. There are secret hallways everywhere! People start knocking on walls and rifling through closets, desperately searching for a place of their own. Maybe an undiscovered planetarium in the basement crawlspace.
In any case: we’re now doing it “

to delete this building, press 3


  1. In my experience, mobile phone recordings are just about seven steps below mobile phone photographs, and about 666 steps below mobile phone video in terms of being unlistenable/unviewable/unwatchable. While I appreciate attempts at democratizing the media, one has to keep in mind that no matter how big the database of media you archive is, if you want someone to actually *enjoy* the experience of going through your archive, then quality *is* an issue. Otherwise, your amassed terrabytes become expensive venture capital, a form of digital real-estate speculation with dubious rewards and the expectation of a high investment level from the consumer-gadgetry suckers from this block and beyond.

  2. i doubt we’ll amass terabytes, and you lose me on the venture capital metaphor…. but of course, VM quality is low, which is why we’ll compress & EQ & do some other audio-polishing so that the broadcast version is better.
    but we’re not after fidelity… nor is it an archive. a few of the best voicemails each week will be mixed into my radio show. it is not going to be some searchable database, far from it.
    for the record: fidelity is overrated. i love my cellphone camera’s low-resolution snapshots. they are impressionist in this honest way. same goes for low-res vids… i’ll be sad when youtube decides to use less aggressive compression…

  3. “Fidelity” is an interesting word, because it gestures at some truthfulness or obligation to an exact reproduction. Even with the kind of high-res recording gear used in the film industry, it’s impossible to record something “as it really was”. Like the camera’s frame (or the particle physicists experiments) the microphone changes what is being recorded, giving it the subject position of the recordist and in no way at all maintaining a truthfulness to the situation being recorded. Lo-fi is just another subjective frame, and maybe my aversion to it is a personal thing and 90% of the technologized world actually enjoys how tiny condensor microphones combined with heavy compression artifacts sound 😉

    But perhaps besides the quality issue, what my late-night venture capital metaphor was fumbling in the dark at is the symbiotic relationship between those larger-than-lifesize megacorperations who produce more pocketsized gadgets for us to buy and the artists who see their use as the way forward. It’s a general critique, not aimed at your project in particular at all. But when dealing with art based on consumer technology, we have to ask ourselves–does the art reflect life and our actual usage of these things, or does our art push new marketing strategies? In other words, are we just unpaid R&D for Sony Eriksson or the IPhone? One of the gurus of “interactive architecture”, Usman Haque, brings up an interesting example from the history of market-driven mass culture:

    “Money, power and control [are] heavily linked to this idea of technology.
    Example: Wilkinson [was] wondering how to sell more razor blades. Solution? They convinced women to start shaving their armpits!”


    I’d like to see a transcription of Usman’s whole talk for the “We Love Technology” conference, which was devilishly titled “I Hate Technology”, since it seems like it’s full of thought-ge(r)ms like this one…

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