Internet of Things

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Designers praise Apple for covering their circuit boards in clean, curved skins. Consumers demand software that is unobtrusive and hardware that is small and tucked away. The rising Internet of Things fills the human habitat with computers that are only distinguishable from analog objects by the intelligent behaviors they exhibit when no one is watching.

Asks Choi, “What if our computers are handcrafted with love, much like the early homebrew computers from the 60s, but for today’s needs?” The question that remains is, what are those needs? Perhaps, in part, for a consideration of our relationship to computers — their physical presence in our lives — as much as for the functions they serve.

In IKEA Mega store near Malmø, the second largest store in the world and the largest in Europe, I made a field recording while making noise with motors and microcontroller in the showroom, often interacting with the shoppers and the products on display. These six sets of improvisational performance, or ‘the action’ does nothing much to change the soundscape of the shop or challenge the Capitalist system or to have any means of direct action toward the Machine. However it is the uselessness and its evident impossibility that grants power as an artistic resistance. Since it is producing only harmlessly tiny noise, the symbolic importance is gained by paying attention to the noise created within the shop, and also the products, which will become a material noise in near future. This invitation to listen to the noise is to question our relationship with the objects and their production and coming into part of our consciousness.