Genetically Sonified Organisms (2017-18)

A piece by Doug Va Nort, commissioned for the Fieldwork land art site, on display May-November 2017 and June-November 2018.

This piece creates an evolving interplay, in sound, between various agents that include humans and non-humans, both computational and biological. The physical GSO artifacts are a set of solar-powered ‘creatures’, designed to interact with one another and the larger sonic field in which they are immersed. The means of communication begins as a call/response from a set of simple tones/noises that introduce this new species into the sonic environment. Each creature responds to sounds that are similar to their known vocabulary, evolving their call over the course of months based on the difference found between their own lexicon of calls and those that they hear around them. These artifacts, though, are merely vessels: rather than meditating on the technological objects themselves, though this piece I invite you to listen to this new sonic presence as it is woven into the fabric of an existing, dynamic and diverse acoustic ecology.


Special thanks to Kieran Maraj of the DisPerSion Lab for his excellent work on the circuitry and enclosures.

Additional Reference:

Van Nort, D. Genetically Sonified Organisms: Environmental Listening/Sounding Agents, in Proc. Of the International Workshop on Musical Metacreation (MuMe), 2018.