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Ghost Automata: a perforated paper score for absent words 


Fixed Media installation 

Inspired by the designs of Jaquard looms, and the perforated paper scores of pianolas, this piece is designed to interpret each hole not as a musical note, but as absent words, as an absence in the voice. Everything I didn’t say, leaves a trace in the air, spaces in between. This is a fixed media installation about the unsaid, words which are not there, and yet… they are. It is about words that get lost in the technical transmission of pronouncing: transcriptions, unheard vocalisations.


Within the piece, you can hear voices, recordings of birds, musical instruments designed and created by me, and the sound of the teletype. The teletype is an obsolete electromechanical device from the 20th century that can be used to send and receive typed messages. Decoded messages would be caught by the teletype and appear trasncribed in paper, kind of like the telegraph.


Written voices would be transmitted suddenly, becoming almost an intimate communication process. Words, trapped in the infinte frequencies of the air, would come back down into paper. The machine, automated to capture and write the message down, would create a very particular and intricate humming, which you can hear throughout the recording. This dynamic of communicating with someone on the other end makes me picture the poetic scenario of being intimate with a ghost: who was sending the message? The rhythms and pulses of the other person could almost be palpable, tactile and invisible interactions, iterations, all materialized within meters of wire and inked down into the teletype.


For me, this piece is all about that same intimacy: words are poured all over the perforated medium, caught, translated and infused into patterns of light and shadow. What are the words represented as holes? Absence? Pieces of me, metaphors of my inconsistent voice.

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