International Festival
of Computer Arts

Private Dots and Public Clouds


8-channel sound work, 7-part series of A1 images

Year: 2020

Duration: 6’00”

Artistic concept: group work

Artistic direction: Georg Weckwerth

As the current situation demands that we isolate ourselves, stay in our homes and not share public space, we have to create digital spaces via technological devices and software in order to connect and communicate with others. During this time, these virtual spaces are seen as replacements of public spaces. They are intersections of our private surroundings, allowing the creation of alternative modes of gathering and, more deeply, of possible forms of publicness within the privateness. How could we then record these virtual spaces within our homes?

Private Dots and Public Clouds is based on a recording of a silent online meeting using a video conference software. During this meeting, we refrained from talking and we tried to listen to the space that emerged out of the overlapping sounds of all our individual environments within our laptop speakers. Every participant has recorded this meeting from their own laptop. These recordings, whose sounds and rhythms are modulated and filtered by everyone’s respective internet connection, result in differently sounding perspectives of the same shared virtual place. Therein, we tried to portray our personal contexts within the current situation. By remaining silent and allowing the background noises of our flats to come to the foreground, we tried to compose both a situation of collective listening as well as sonic traces of absence, of loneliness and non-communication, as these virtual spaces are usually created specifically to communicate through language. Reflecting on how to perform the situation of forced isolation was the aim of this project.

The visual material shown in the lightboxes relates to the recorded private spaces, pointing to the sound sources audible in the recordings. The accompanying postcard shows a map of the locations of each of the participants based on the distances and directions from the main focal point, the TONSPUR_passage. Ultimately, the passage with its eight speakers is a transmitter to actual public space: from private dots to public clouds.


Check the full video @