Espace [IM]Media

Phillip David Stearns

Here Be Dragons

Listening angles - 37-45 Wellington Sud

Here Be Dragons is a real-time sound piece that converts malicious intrusion attempts on internet-connected devices into sounds. Honeypots—Virtual Private Servers (VPS) disguised as corporate servers—are exposed to the open Internet, thus luring unsolicited network traffic. Data from brute force attempts, port scans, and vulnerability exploitation are translated directly into sound events, giving audible access to the notion of the Internet as a vulnerable “body” subject to hostile activities.

Today, low-intensity cyber conflicts represent a significant proportion of Internet traffic. Although we are protected from much of this activity by firewalls built into our routers, configuration errors can expose devices in our home networks to the open Internet and attract the attention of harmful actors.

Honeypots such as these, along with other security measures such as intrusion detection and prevention systems, represent a sort of autonomous nervous system of the Internet whose complexity is similar to that of our own body. Could our experience and knowledge of connectivity be in the process of becoming a form of incarnated understanding expressed in these systems?

Listening angles :: Sound pieces in public spaces

Two artists were invited to each create an audio work for an outdoor sound device of 15 speakers specially designed for EIM 2019. Installed along a self-supporting triangular structure, the sound sources are arranged in such a way as to generate a very specific spatialization of the sound. The audience is invited to sit in the centre of the device for a continuous listening session where the pieces are broadcasted alternately – one being a composition while the other is a generative piece.
With this sound presence in the heart of the city, EIM takes the initiative to meet the public and infiltrate – in a way – the common space in which the unexpected can still happen. The works presented highlight issues about infiltration/intrusion/transmission, related to digital technology, amplified by our constant connectivity. Borders between fiction and reality, such as those crossed by “fake news” (Pierre-Luc Lecours) and invasive attacks on public, open and vulnerable networks (Phillip David Stearns), are the issues that are explored and translated into sound.

Pierre-Luc Lecours (QC-CA) – Illusory Truth Effect (2019)
Phillip David Stearns (US) – Here Be Dragons (2019)