limits to growth

  • Parker, Martin (Principal Investigator)
  • Green, Owen (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


As an embedded artwork, LTG aims to draw listeners’ attention to the sounds that happen in the venue where it is installed. The sounds undergo this process in situ so automatically adapt themselves to the context in which they are found. This is not particularly interesting until you take into account the character of what has been heard and what is being played.
One the one hand, the piece makes an anarchic comment and intrusion into the environment it is in, regurgitating material based on what it has already heard. In this respect it could be argued that we ‘hear’ the voice of the machine, randomly exploring itself on its own terms. To some extent this is true, although this machine (like all machines) is not just algorithmically energised but also twisted toward the taste of the people who designed it.
There are two characteristics that impinge on one another. The characteristics of the sounds that occur in the space are integral to themselves and belong to the moment of their creation. As these are captured and played back, they begin to assume characteristics integral to these sounds being played back again in the space. The obvious links to these feedback and transduction processes align in some respects with Alvin Lucier’s and Agostino Di Scipio’s work.
What becomes important about this work is the way in which these comments on what has already been heard in the space are articulated and how they feed back in. The original content and context provide one characteristic shape, but these shapes are quantised and refashioned by the listening and playback tools we’ve designed and implemented.

Layman's description

Limits to Growth (LTG) feeds off the sound of its surrounding environment via four miniature microphones positioned around the space. It records and stores sounds at intervals which are then used and transformed as the basis for its utterances. LTG is designed to exhibit changing behaviour over the course of its inhabitation of a space. Initially, it is a closed system—simply a piece that sounds periodically; over time it becomes more coupled to its surroundings, such that both the nature and timing of its soundfulness are environmentally driven.
Effective start/end date3/02/1530/09/17


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