"Harddisko" (2007) is a 'Noise & Disturbance Amplifier System for Harddisks' by Valentina Vuksic.



Harddisko is an installation piece dealing with raw computer sounds. Rhythmic noises evolve from sixteen harddrives, which are orchestrated through simple power circuits. By cutting the harddisk's power in varying sequences and amplifying the peculiar sound characteristics of each drive, an unpredictable acoustic and visual interplay takes place.

Valentina Vuksic's Harddisko -- or Noise & Disturbance Amplifier System for Harddisks -- looks like a classic sound sculpture. Sixteen hard disks with their housing removed sit atop small pedestals. When turned on, they perform an initialization procedure: the reading head rhythmically and rapidly checks the hard disk as it spins at high speed. These hard disks are out of order, so that each of them, in its own way, sticks, repeats the procedure, and makes a characteristic ticking sound (which can leave no one who has ever endured a sudden disk crash completely unmoved). Because the hard disks do their job in full view, the parallel with obsolete turntable technology also becomes patently clear. What we hear is an impressively chaotic composition. The sound is amplified, but since each disk is connected to its own circuit which switches on and off according to a schedule set by Vuksic, there is variation and layeredness. Sometimes the disks seem to react to each other or carry on a conversation; at other times, they all chatter at once. Harddisko is also a game played with (malfunctioning) contemporary technology, a literal breaking of the black box of technology. Broken things are transformed into a sublime sound sculpture (watch the hard disks spin awkwardly and powerlessly...).


Harddisko by Valentina Vuksic (DEAF07) from V2_ on Vimeo.

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