Tuesday, April 20, 2004

About RondHangen ReCords ReCuerdas

bartaku & sofiesaufage gathered atoms, digital & mental bits during and after 350 days of wandering through Latin America, from Ushuaia (the End of the World) till Mexico (hyper)City. ReCords is a multimedia installation that attempts to evoke this multi-sensory experience using a database of sounds, texts, images, memories and emotions 'controlled' by Pre-Colombian and 21st-century ICT, media & electronics.

The origins
The origins of ReCords can be found in the Southern Bolivian Andes where we came across the Khipu: a textile laptop consisting of a construction of coloured cords with knots. These knotted cords appeared to be a highly advanced information tool and a key component in the information system of the Inkas. These devices contain binary coded, quantitative (census data, crops,...) and qualitative information (sentences, songs, myths...), crucial for the Inka rulers.

Old & new ICT
We decided to explore this tactile storage device & medium and explore if and how we could combine/integrate it with contemporary ICT & architecture, electronics and media.The underlying dynamic process that leads to the state of sharpened sense perception consists of the organic, intuition-based, emotional, spontaneous, free, non-linear, conscious on the one hand, and the structured, rational, linear, controlled, manipulated, unconscious on the other. At the same time, the concept of binarity -allegedly the key to Inka IT- is integrated in the structuring, encoding and presentation of the content.

Tangible, audible, visible
The installation integrates images and sound recordings. The former were mainly provided by Sofie, the latter by bartaku; they represent memories/emotions of both or either one of them.
Moreover, these materials are classified geographically into 11 'geoclusters' (11 places in Latin America), each cluster containing two categories of information: non-specific and impulse-driven images / sounds / memories, on the one hand, and anecdotal materials retrieved on a more intentional basis, on the other.

Encoded & randomized
The images are presented on three screens and randomly generated by customized open source software (Mersenne Random Generator). The sound files are audible via 11 speakers integrated in 11 separate textile threads, generated by 11 Mp3 Players in random mode. They 'invite' people to touch the threads hereby getting acces to the encoded, 'made tangible', memories.

Space for content
The content space
is a trapezium-shaped tent representing the trajectory travelled in Latin America. Entering the installation, every visitor becomes an active user to the extent that he/she will be able to weave his/her own story, to create his/her own path or camino, submerged in this non-linear presentation of symbolic and non-symbolic content.


ANNUNZIATA, M.G. La Ciencia y Tecnologia Incaica. 2001, Gutemberg Editores y Impresores, S.L. 80p.
ASCHER, Marcia and Robert. Mathematics of the Incas. Code of the Quipu. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola, New York. 166p.
BAKKER, J.H. Toewijding. Over literatuur, mens en media. Uitg. Atlas, Amsterdam/Antwerpen. 368p.
BEY, Hakim. Overcoming Tourism. Musée Lilim, Carcasonne. www.hermetic.com/bey/tourism.html
CRANG, M., CRANG, P., MAY, J. Virtual Geographies: Bodies, Space and Relations (Sussex Studies in Culture and Communications). Routledge London & New York. 322p.
LANCHO, M.F. Escritura Incaica. 2001, Universidad Nacional F. Villareal, Lima. 112p.
PLANT, Sadie. Zeros + Ones, Digital Women + The New Technoculture. 1997, Bantam Dell Pub Group, S.L., 305p.
URTON, Gary. Sign of the Inka Khipu. Binary Coding in the Andean Knotted-String Records. 2003, University of Texas Press, Austin. 202p.

The Khipu Database Project: http://khipukamayuq.fas.harvard.edu/KhipuConst.html

Monday, April 05, 2004

Finished Threads

Dry Tail

A subsidiary cord that refers to our dwellings throughout the Patagonian desert. One of the stories it contains, refers to a night in a tent near Baja Caracoles, a very tiny settlement - a total of 21 buildings, lost in the Patagonian pampa, literally in the middle of nowhere. Many wild horses and sofiesaufage's imagination on the loose...

(Spec.: Geocluster 2, Patagonia; Subsidiary Cord; Recto; S-plied; bartaku&sofiesaufage-code; Material: mixed fabric: natural: Alpacawool, ponytail hair, non-organic: parts of small bag used underway.)