Words Never Forgotten is an interactive sound installation that creates a sonic portrayal of the Internet as a territory where we have a total freedom to express ourselves, but where at the same time anything we say, write or do will be recorded and archived. Once stored in data centres and private computers our words will live forever, and they will become available for anyone to find and quote in whatever context.
The installation was “premiered” at the klingt gut! sound symposium in Hamburg on 8–10th June 2017, and was very well-received. It is a truly interactive piece that keeps changing continuously and can be experienced either alone or together. Being my first ever installation and one of the first Pure Data (Pd) patches I have programmed I was extremely happy for the success.
However, to quickly summarise, the installation has a microphone placed in the middle of the room and a surround speaker system enveloping the visitors. An evolving soundbed of comments, questions and sounds by previous visitors can be heard circling around. New visitors are encouraged to contribute and say something to the microphone, after which those words and sounds will become a part of the sound pool. Nothing will be deleted, and often two separate comments or sounds are played back-to-back or simultaneously creating new meanings or sonic combinations.
Picture: A group of symposium guests taking part of the installation. Photo by author.