Phreaking Bolero - 2014

iTunes is playing an mp3 of Boléro on repeat. Boléro (1928) is a musical composition by Maurice Ravel, it has a fractal-like structure composed of simple theme that is repeated with progressive orchestration that rises in a continuous crescendo. Ravel likened piece to the repetitive mechanical processes in a factory and referred to it as having "orchestral tissue without music".  As the music software plays the digitized music, the hardware radiates secondary electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves. The antenna laying on the computer is picking up all of these radio emissions and any waves in the surrounding room. In theory these radio secondary radio signals could be used to reconstruct what what is being displayed on my computer’s LCD screen, a process known as Van Eck Phreaking. Rather than reconstructing Bolero, I amplified the signals with an acoustic guitar by attaching transducer speakers to the strings. The raw radio signal is a complexly layered static that changes as the song plays. This setup transforms repetitive mechanical process sounds in Bolero into a sustained drone, closer to the constant hum of continuously operating technology embodied by the hum of computers, highways, and power lines. (This antenna was given to me by Peter Flemming)