JLIAT All possible silences (65536) 2011 Larks Council of England
The audio on CDs is recorded as discrete numbers, therefore there are a finite number of ALL POSSIBLE CDs… Roughly 10 to the power 2 billion… (precisely 2 ^ 6265728000) This is a virtual totality of which what we have (in HMV etc.) are very small actualizations of this totality. I’m intrigued that the digital domain renders finite such infinities as monkeys on typewriters, though the physical universe isn’t sufficient to actualize this finite total, in theory it exists, all music as CD is delimited exactly. This poses the thought that any recording could be created by artistic talent, ingenuity, skill, sensitivity… or by brute force or accident. In which case the “Art” must be in the listening? It poses some interesting problematics … for music … and artists.. Even to actualize 1 second of this totality would take 10 to the 2 billion seconds, however there is another subset of the totality which is the set of silent disks. There is not just one such silent disk, containing all zeros, but any disk which contains only one fixed set of digits, e.g. 999999… or 444444….etc. (its only changing numbers which render sound..) And there is a fixed number of these, 65536. So though realization of the total virtual isn’t possible, the full range of silences is. Rather than issue 65536 disks its possible using a simple algorithm and software to compact data in a lossless manner (zip) and so to create a compacted file with 10 second examples of all 65536 possible silences. Technically this was achieved by writing custom software to create and compress the data. To make handling these large volumes for certain operating systems the 65536 files are split into 4 zip files. Any one of the 65536 wave files produces 10 seconds of silence, yet each is different from the others in the data it contains. This in itself appears somewhat paradoxical… as is the fact that the total virtuality of all possible audio CDs can be made by selective playing of selective parts of these 65536 files..
I like to think the problematic of where meaning (truth and beauty…) lies, where it arises, is raised by this work. That ‘the event’ in reality – in a totality – is never special or privileged, is perhaps only made so by ‘outside’ intervention? In which case where does that leave "Il n'y a pas de hors-texte” (There is nothing outside the text) ?
PLAYING NOTES: ITS BEST TO KEEP THE FILES IN THE ZIP FOLDER* AND LOAD EACH AS REQUIRED TO YOUR PLAYER. TAKE CARE WITH PLAYING AT HIGH VOLUMES, THOUGH SILENT THE DC OFFSETS MAY CAUSE DAMAGE: TO ‘HEAR’ ALL 65536 CDS (74 MINUTES) WOULD TAKE APPROX 9 YEARS, THE 10 SECOND SAMPLES HERE WILL TAKE APPROX 7.5 DAYS.
*UNPACKED DATA IS 107 GIGABYTES
Order CD ROM with all 65536 10 second samples in ZIP format - £5.00 includes p&p