VBODOBV | dEvolution: Personnel

Message in a Bottle

Proposed work as accepted for soundpedro 2021:
Message in a Bottle has addressed the singularity and loneliness of humanity: Andrew Marvell’s “Deserts of vast eternity” surround us, and anyone else with wit to look. But what if we sent a message, with the speculative hope of anyone who commits a piece of paper in a wine bottle to the surf? What if we thought we had something worth saying? What if we wanted to be known? Remembered? Feared? Worshiped? Admired? What if we just wanted to help? If we were convinced we knew something important? Then, like Marvell, “let us roll all our strength and all / our sweetness into one ball” and fling it as far as we can! As many copies as we can, like dandelion seeds. A powerful gesture, drawn from the massive infrastructure sustaining’s work, will send the best we can offer where we cannot go.

Suppose someone else sent a message like this, in an expression of…what? Hope? Fear? Arrogance? Proselytizing mania? In any case, some consuming passion. The message travels for eons. For this voyage, it has agency. It has everything necessary for a quest. It has vast patience, sustained by a tiny flame. (One does not simply walk across a desert of vast eternity.) It has feelings, much like its creators.

Now, what if the message arrives–with all its strength and sweetness–and we ignore it?

Unfairly Used: A Tale of Unauthorized Reproduction
“Unfairly Used” is a son et lumière installation addressing intellectual property law shackles on creators and consumers.

With “Unfairly Used,” wikiGong slouches from its corner for another round with the informational ecosystem; and how could they not? wikiGong’s conception (immaculate or not) as a repository of communally available sound samples foreordained this battle; previous projects lampooning spam and the corruption of language by toxic jargon foreshadowed it.

Law hogties us: Copyrights given to the long dead; trademarks dug into everyday speech; end-user license agreements; non-disclosure agreements required by work; arbitration agreements to get our teeth cleaned; consent implied by showing up. It’s a form of what debaters call “the spread,” a diarrheic spew of arguments which can’t be understood, let alone debated.

This artisanal language, handcrafted of finest precedents by $400/hour IP attorneys, is itself jealously guarded property. Good artists copy, but great artists steal. (Words Picasso neglected to protect!) Thus wikiGong bids for greatness by using this language as video script, enunciated amidst an audio tapestry of treated samples.

Or does it? Sources are obscured as solid text melts into the air of reprocessing and looping. (Marx. See what we did there?) Moving lips may reflect a dramatic reading of a Microsoft EULA, or gibberish. Absent lip readers, wikiGong maintains plausible deniability.

Return to Artists 2021 page catalogs the sounds of large public structures for creative purposes, including the creation of new virtual instruments.

Dave Ayer built his first virtual instruments at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, where he earned an MFA in Sculpture in 1987. He launched the web site in July 2009.

Jacob Dickinson’s photography and printmaking inform his contributions to and He is a beekeeper and an officer of an environmental start-up.

Artist Location: Long Beach, CA

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Posted in Artists 2021.