THE MYSTIC WAY (2015)
The MYSTIC Way is an automated surveillance system which continuously transforms captured audio into a constantly evolving, abstract soundscape.
A reflection on bulk intelligence data collection and the blurring of boundaries between public and private communication,
this installation system is always listening to and reshaping the space that it operates in, whether the viewer notices or not.
In this iteration, the public cafeteria space adjacent to the Kresge Pascal Gallery at Ramapo College
was placed under audio surveillance for a month via a network of microphones hidden in the ceiling.
The microphones captured sounds occuring in the space and fed them into a laptop computer.
Algorithms, written in MAX, cut up and reassembled the sounds into a randomized,
textured soundscape that is reintroduced into the space via a network of hidden speakers.
The piece functions as an aural mirror that is always updated via automation.
It is is modeled on MYSTIC, an NSA telecommunication surveillance program which was created in 2009.
Interest in the program has emerged in recent years as once secret documents of the its existence have been revealed to the public.
The Mystic Way was part of Turn On The Bright Lights
an international exhibit of abstract art curated by Carla Acevedo Yates.
This show included works by Kajsa Dahlberg, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jason Mena, Trevor Paglen and Adán Vallecillo
and was on exhibit at Ramapo College in New Jersey during the Fall of 2015.
More information can be found here