Read, Supreme Connections
Sunday, 28th March 2021. 11:00-13:00 CET
NOTE: This reading session will be held in English

varia (Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam) is a space for developing collective approaches to everyday technology. It is a collective infrastructure to generate questions, opinions, modifications, help and action. varia works with free software, organises events and collaborates in different constellations.

This is a pad hosted by varia (Etherpad) an open-source, web-based collaborative real-time editor, that allows authors to simultaneously edit a text document, and see all of the participants' edits in real-time. As you may be noticing it also displays each author's text in their own colour. Etherpads typically also have a chat box as another form of communication between editors.
We are going to participate in the session here today, by responding - in writing - to some exercises and to one another.

Every last Sunday of the month the Varia Library and the Rotterdam Electronica Depot hold Read & Repair events. In 2021 our sessions are themed. During March and April, we are exploring the theme Sense-full Pedagogy. Sensory systems respond to stimuli and provide data for our perception. A sense is any of the systems involved in sensation. What do our senses read into? These sessions will choreograph unusual sources for us to read into, and care for the body that reads. Together we will ask how Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch are part of learning.

» Be supportive and curious. Consider that nobody knows you besides what you write. Your written words don't have the tones of voice.
» If you have a question, ask. This is an experiment in doing a workshop together textually, from a distance for some.
» Don't delete text from other people, you can add your thoughts next to their sentences or even in between.

Other things about our pads that you might want to take note of: 
  - The pads are not indexed by search engines, but anyone that knows its URL is welcome to read and edit it.

  - The contents of the pads are not encrypted, meaning that they are not private.
  - Anyone with access to the server has the possibility to see the content of your pads.

  - Both the physical and digital spaces of Varia are subject to our Code of Conduct <>
 ⏲ Introduction coming now!

exercise 1
On page 3 where she says "I would like to make interactive audio CDs. People would have scores in their home and could do various transformations. My own work is done architecturally. I use multispeaker systems in several rooms, so it’s not very fitting to have two speakers in your living room"

What is your set up to listen to this stream, how do you listen?
Tell us about your space.
responses below

I am using headphones and I am next to two plants. They may be listening to the sound excess from my headphones.
I'm using headphones too! They're twelve years old and I'm wondering how different this stream might sound with newer headphones.
I am using DJ decks, a microphone, 2 computer screens and a soundcard to stream to you, I am concentrating so I think I am not really listening.
I use the speakers of my laptop. I am sitting on the floor in front of my half-opened window. I prefer to sit here than at my desk because the sun is directed on that spot. I hear some hungry birds some times and sounds from the city in distance. 
Listening with headphones, connected to laptop, trying to blend out a white noise sound next to me that is a lullaby for a little child. 
I'm plugged in via headphones that penetrate quite uncomfortably my ears. But they make for a good listening quality
I have logged into my phone and laptop; with my phone connected to speakers.
sitting at my desk in the library, listening with headphones
sitting at my desk, the open window is letting sound and outside noise come in (more birds, more wind) but I think I will move to the floor now
What does everyone hear rn?
The whistling of air in tubes - and a croaky disembodied voice. grrrrraaaaaaaauuuuu.... a remote director/trice, dictator/trice, orator
windy sounds, whistling of the air, watery quality, open spatial sound, moving left to right. moving my attention in the audio space. presence of people/creatures. overtones created. traffic. 
 I'm sitting in front on my desk top computer, I listen with its speakers. My husband is quite noisey preparing breakfast in the kitchen.
at home, on my ipad but ill switch to studio headphones soon, but i like walking around in the apartment withthe device, its like a pocket radio :) and it changes sonically depending on the room and space
sounds a bit like background cafe noise <- oh the dream! 
sound distorted by my internet connection breaking off from time to time (but not so much) +1
laptop speakers, wind is strong outside and traffic too despite closed windows and I'v just got in from cycling and my ears are buzzing from the cold and wind. Will conntect to a better speaker no
(from the chat) unnamed: I'm sitting in front on my desk top computer, I listen with its speakers. My husband is quite noisey preparing breakfast in the kitchen.

exercise 2
On page 4 we can read "You might instead be designing auditory enhancers. You might rather make a piece about the sun."

If you had an auditory enhancer, what would you listen to that is usually impossible to hear?
responses below

I would listen to this stream. The microphones already pick up so much the ears would not hear / would not be presented so much. Additionally, I would listen to electromagnetic waves mixed with voices on a random street, all communications overlapping. 
I would listen to all the noise that goes on simultaneously while somebody is speaking, the doubts, the distractions, the permanent to-do lists, the meta-voice commenting cheering and booing on the subject, the dispersed and multi-layered person, the excess, pitch, accent, glottal stops, intonations, inflections, and impediments. I would be a built-in lie-detector, not registering sweat or pulse in the finger tips, but in the voice itself.
i would listen to an empty forest
I would listen to people's minds. Also plants "thinking"?
I would like to listen to frictions of objects flowting in the space. 
ice melting, insects walking (like ants), my own birth ? is it also a time machine? if so i would also like to hear iconic concerts from before i was born. maybe their sound is still floating in the cosmos somewhere . 
THaat would be super cool.
ok the idea of listening sounds from the past actually starts making me dizzy....
Flowers opening+1yes
Pupils dilating 
i would listen to the sounds inside my body. the cells multiplying, the blood streaming, the landscape of the inside body. trying to see it as it 'is' in sound, and not in biology books. 
Yes, me too! How bodies sound when they're in love or when they are stressed or sad or angry. (Although, I heard about this rooms in which it's so silent that you can hear your blood stream and apparently you can't stay in longer than ten minutes because it's pretty disturbing.)
 there is one of these rooms in amsterdam i think
The thoughts of animals (ala Amacher) - not in a translated way, more in an emotional feeling. Especially domestic and farm animals - what do they think of their captivity? Is it just static white noise of athought?
what fish could hear or the bottom of the ocean
Don't know so much about what I would like to listen to but how to listen to something. Like the idea of listen quietly.Space and silence in between frequences 
2017 listening to bats (did they hear this coming)
I have a vague memory of a film scene that opens with the sound of the sun burning - anyone know that one + the title?
the moon, Mars, and further
listening in a finely tuned selective way to things that are wihtin vision but to my ear (which is quite bad at hearing) maing no discernible sound, to concentrate on listening as a way of scanning a ususally quiet/silent scene

exercise 3.      
On page 5 we read about Amacher's first "works in which I installed microphones in different remote locations. They were called city links, and a microphone could be by the ocean in one city and then another in another city; then I would bring these remote locations together in mixing."

What location would you install a microphone in now, in order to listen to that space, that is remote to you?
responses below

the kalahari desert
The compost bin outside yes that too...
the sound of bacteria fermenting from the same mother in different parts of the world.
not a specific location but the spaces of dear friends, wherever they are right now, to share that space, without speaking.  <3
ah, i write onto the pad not the chat, so i have a microphone just where i would chose, listening to what my daughter is busy with
i hope it makes you feel closer 
thank you, it does. time in amy's head is always interesting for me
Hi Amy's mum! :D hello D
i miss my niece a lot, so i would like to hear what shes busy with in her small cute room
also where the vulcano is errupting rn, i bet that sounds magma-zing 
the vulcano in Island now or stromboli, apparently active every 15 minutes
my beloved's houses, all of them. Intimate leaks. I wonder wheter I'd want to listen with a decoder that amplifies anything 'suspicious' or whether I'd want to meander randomly through their intimate sounds.
The place where we go after life. I'd love to listen to my dead grandma talking from wherever she is right now.
it seems obvi but the ocean,+1 the west coast wind
I would want an auditory enhancer of certain smells. would that be possible? I hope so. The sound of the smell of plants from different places I've lived. 
i would install an anti-microphone to block all the other microphones around me. - would that be noise cancelling or noise nullifying/signal breaking. 
ohh good question
A microphone in the Pitwater in New South Wales, Australia. Sounds of water, fauna, and water bound human life. Very far from the room that I am sitting in now.
A prison, especially an interrogation room. I would like to listen to what is really happening there? Does the police officer speaks with respect to the prisoner? Does the interrogator use machines against the prisoner?
a police station
In 'silent' environments to enhance attention. spaces that an brig awareness without recognition of specific sources
The inside of a kiln - where glazing is taking place!
underground pipes
in a place of power, where decisions are made.
^^ oh yes - it would be nice to bypass the facades of those who make the decisions to actually hear what they are thinking, and why they are doing what they are doing. = the sound of decision making, in general :: does it sound like a spark, dramatic crescendo, or rather a spiky beat? 
maybe it would sound like this ~~~~..~~.~.~.//////////./././.!!!!!!!!~~~..~.~
On the soil of the Białowieża forest in Poland.
To the sounds of the sea. To the bodies that have been drowned in it. 
under the ground, dig a hole and put a microphone deep into the earth
under the ground, 
bee hive
i would like to hear all ur fingers typing rn :D the orchestra of the pad <3 wow that would be a nice additional layer, intermittent rhythms n thoughts! tip tip tap tapapapa tip
(from the chat) : into the guts of an active volcano

exercise 1

We are collectively writing the script for the never made media opera INTELLIGENT LIFE.
I have taken extracts from the information I found, and imagined 3 - 4 scenes with them, depending on the time we have.
I use the key that exists on some of the drawings in the storyboard as a way to get into writing out a scene:

theme - what soundscape is being composed in this scene?
action - what happens?
sound - how does the at home audience experience this work that is on television and FM radio?
time - how long is this scene? what is the pace of the editing?

I propose we take this a structure through which to write out our screenplay, and I invite you to create them collectively in words.

"APLISA KANDEL, President of SUPREME CONNECTIONS, INC. rides around her laboratory grounds, testing the newly designed WEBERN CAR. 
She has just composed a special "sound float" environment and is bringing it up to specs. Ty and Aplisa dial in music called “The Desert” as they drive around and review the company’s history. Aplisa tells Ty that she’s composing music that compliments inner ear in real time."

1. Sound float envirnoment
2. Music 'dialled in' The Desert
3. SUPREME CONNECTIONS, INC. company history

theme - what soundscape is being composed in this scene? A dial up + inner ear request signals + noise sound from the medium used + memory access sounds + uncertain of being a company guinea pig sounds from Ty (in the car with the director of the company)
sounds that make your head feel fuzzy a dry humming that keeps the memory floating 

action - what happens? They hear the desert's memory from when it was an ocean. the desert starts floating in the inner ear. a kind of monster sound, impossible to imagine. desert sand coming in from the window of the car. The sand is redish, propably the desert is located somewhere in the east(always the east). Many people have crossed it. The sand carries the stories of all these migrants that have stepped on it. Some unperceptible sounds, produced by the heat of the desert, become perceptible: sweat coming out of APLISA and TY's skin pores, the sound of the sand and gravel sliding down the dunes...
in reference to the above, the sound of a scorching sun, of evaporation of water and other liquids. The steam bubbles that appear inside the plastic bottle that APLISA has in her bag... 
Ty is silently listening to Aplisa, one eyebrow is raised, sharing in naive enthousiasm about the desert-sounds, but on a double track mind, disliking the depency of the slow sounds coming in, wanting to accerate the experiment they are making, into unknown directions, thinking whether the recorders can be attached to their bodies, maybe they already are, increasing suspicion.  

sound - how does the at home audience experience this work that is on television and FM radio?
they hear aspects of the companies history that SUPREME CONNECTIONS wouldnt want you to know about, like what bodies and voices they train their AI with ... they hear secrets. They hear to all these voice data gathered by unsuspecting travelers. The voices are a lot. the skin feels dry, tingling TEMPLES, cooled by the period blowing of cool exhaust air of the AMBIENT MACHINES . The audience also hears their own heartbeat, veins are protruding and their body temperature rises. They are not the only ones listening to these inner sounds. The sounds are leaking out of the device. Some authority figures are listening to them as well...
it should be a physical experience indeed

time - how long is this scene? what is the pace of the editing?slow pace with very long cross fading, or better two images at the time, pixelated morphing kind of cross fading :) different images floating behind and in front as they move on the screen. The scene takes two hours the cuts become slower and slower, the VOICE (spoken and unspoken) becomes slower and slower in the thick MOVING AIR that is the sound. 

TY TY'D, Journalist & younger cousin of Aplisa.

Aplisa: Ty do you want a go

Ty:a go at what exactly?

Aplisa: rub ur indexfingers and thumbs very close to your ears 👂�👌👌👌👌👌
then tap around eyes and ears

Ty: (does the suggested actions. then passes out for 3 seconds, comes back to) 

Aplisa slow blinks at Ty as he comes round. Her mouth moves in word shaping rhythmic formation but Ty hears only...

Ty: I hear the wind, there's sand hitting my face, and it tastes, salty.

Aplisa: Wait! ...they are listening to us...

Inside the home of consumers of Choline's elaborate MAD (modulating auditory dimensions) BIO-MUSIC scores. The 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) which had ordered all police interview rooms to be equipped with audio recording machines, so that all interrogations from then on would be audio-recorded instead of transcribed into text used the same technology as the one that's at the basis of MAD BIO-MUSIC. A group of people are "listening in" to "get inside" a creature's world, by "hearing out music as it would". Unlike the camera's image, revealing only look and movement, we listen-in. We "simulate" the sensitivity of another life form RESPONDING to our world of sound and music. We are SENSING what it "feels like" to be this creature. We learn to recognise, to *feel* it's SENSITIVITY modulating sensitive cells, shaping our own auditory responses: The BIO-MUSIC scores become "synaptic stencils", whose patterns we trace.

Right now, everyone's favorite -- "THE LEAP"" -- from MOTH - to ELEPHANT - to HUMAN -- is the biggest hit, the "top 40" of 2021."

theme - what soundscape is being composed in this scene? it all starts with the sound of rapidly flapping wings in an 'cold' or empty environment. unworldly high-pitched sounds that provoke shiver, a hairy sound, a furry sound, different sounds associated with moth, elephant mingle and interweave``` velvety The sound of an elefant trumpetting is enourmesly stretched out and re-arranged chonologicaly. The human sound sounds as if it's recorded in a 'bubble'. The sounds seems to come from far away, getting louder when the listener pays attention. Linguistic rhythm-tones come through clearly; sounds that remind humans of phonemes. You can listen to an 'a' and 'ee'. Sometimes the 'ee' sounds like an 'e', or the 'ui' like a shortened 'oi'. Contradictory signals emittted in the dual sounds betray one another. Unable to distinguish creaturely tastes, the cacophonous bio-music is modulated on top of human bio rhythms; patterns brought into focus by the overlay. 
action - what happens? many people in the room, laying down, sometimes moving around. light colors changing. Some of them cannot see but only listen. The ones that can see have more power. There is a computer and a microphone. the movement of the bodies influence the speech-to-text algorithm, the companion species they are listening THROUGH meet and move together, The algorithm emits a distorted outcome that includes echoes of the space. Thus it influences then the way the bodies move in the space. 
they hear the biomusic of the whale, sensing the microplastic running through its veins, they experience suffucation although they have no problem breathing. someone is allergic to shellfish and tastes them for the first time in their life without breaking into hives and throat swelling.
They are obliged to stay inside more until they pronounce well the phoneme 'ee' while eating. The creature knows what is the correct sound of that.

sound - how does the at home audience experience this work that is on television and FM radio?
sound is entering their body postures. while listening they start to move and react differently to their environemnt. movement reflects which stage of THE LEAP they are experiencing, moth, elephant, human: different gravity experience. seems they can not decide to get out of the creature while the sound is being emitted. They are caught in both their bodily experience, and language experience of th event - bypassing the intentional, allowing the inference by the maker of the transmission.
The creature is holding them within and they can only leave when an efficient amount of sounds has been collected. 
Little by little the audience is becoming aware of a registering presence. They are made to listen differently and realize that these sounds are not outside of them, but that they are implicated. They are made to listen differently at their own production of sound, with a constant paranoia that no self-censoring will ever abolish. Little by little they relax as they undertsnad that there is no objective experience afterall. The only way to get into permeating in expanded reliaties is to give in to the apparatus. everything is entangled 

time - how long is this scene? what is the pace of the editing? This scene is played in loop for twenty minutes. With every new loop, the sound quality augments, the humanly inaudible becomes more and more audible: pitch, accent, glottal stops, intonations, inflections, and impediments.this scene is longer than the lastThe stethescope becoming ever more clear, forcing the animal body's testimony to be the scene. can the audible become too clear, so sharp a sound it becomes a CUT itself? 
What story will the inaudible tell?

Consumer 1: eE

Consumer 2: eeeeee

Consumer 3: EE

All Consumers together: OOOOoooooohhhhhhh
They sigh as"THE LEAP" ends. wanting to listen again, making it reach the top 10 in the charts

The RESONANCE PRINTS unfold. "We follow APLISA KANDEL and TY CHOLINE, as they develop their most remarkable work to date -- "RESONANCE PRINTS" -- to a new level of sophistication.
These began where the Silicon Partner of The Home Composing Team creates melodies around tones originating WITHIN the biological partner's ears, while listening to sound music. * This is one way, by identifying his partner's resonance, that the silicon partner gradually learns to FEEL human responses."

theme - what soundscape is being composed in this scene? everyday sounds, but captured in the narrow space of the ear. we hear sounds coming together Sounds like bombs falling next to our houses, guns shooting, screams, people laughing in a bar. sounds like thoughts traveling the brain, the brain like a room, the thought like a floating weighted object full of color, direction, intention, and history.
watery sounds- one sound flows to the next harmoniously
the voice of the partners mother. the way they spoke to their first lover

action - what happens? 
due to a glitch random resonance prints are tuned into, creating a polyphonic listening — multi-partnered unique listening ears overlapping, hearing through the multitude. the silicon partner is overwhelmed by the amount of sensori stimuli and starts misinterpreting, confusing one sound with another, a complete lack of sound categorisation emerges where meaning is divorced from signifiers The sounds have so many elements to interpret while listening, like where the sounds come from, what machines made them, who is speaking. The sounds becomes more and more overwhelming. They provoke many thoughts in the partner's brain, the semantics are too many. 
Alhough the 'sophisticated'work was designed with bonding in mind - the 'amplying' filter effect, of the objective aspects of an otherwise deeply subjective account, ends up muting the nuanced "semantic enunciations". 

sound - how does the at home audience experience this work that is on television and FM radio? overwhelming experience leading to paranoia. Indeed, the feeling of relaxation in scene 2 was only a temporary relief. Paranoia eats everything, invades every little corder of the brain. A series of waves expand through the innner body, indeed reaching the brain but also the finger tips. Finger nails fall off and their skin begins to itch incessently. the listening numbers begin to multiply as people start to understand how to deal with the devices they are using to enjoy the experience. But the algorithms and the devices don't know much, they miss information, so it is difficult to collaborate with them. they learn to be at home differently: they are at home but confusingly connected to the outside, to other's people homes, outside. Other's softwares. Soft borders, soft semantics.
The sound quality transitions from something ephemeral and ungraspable to an extreme materiality: dissectible, replicable, physical and corporeal.

time - how long is this scene? what is the pace of the editing? the scene 'fades out'. Sounds dissapears slowly. The audience 'awakens' in a new, animated world. Hearing, listening, experiencing a richer sound in their surrounding, in their ears. Very slow fading. In the background they can hear endless speech acts, paranoic demands for a better world. They can connect and disconnect to these voices.

A disembodied voice overtakes the rich sound experience saying : "Last week, a colleague and I spent three working days listening to one word from a police interview tape."
Your experience is stripped from you. Your validity to this wholistic, utopic experice has been algorithmically deemed invalid.


Another disembodied voice, misinterpreted by the silicon partner: How many words per minute can you sense? Do you recognise the quality of the voice? Is this coming from some dialect? The sound is rendered dissectible, replicable, physical and corporeal in its qualities as 'object' but the intended connection is lost. Disassociated and categorical; the sound of infrastructural bias.

The shift from one form of listening to another happens insidiuously and invisibly and yet, its political impact and effect on the listened-to populace can be radical. We don't know which consequences this might have.

Another disembodied voice, responding: I couldn't tell, [first voice, interrupting: I don't believe what you are saying ] I was on autopilot.

The same disembodied voice as before: Check the transcript.

~~~~ Silence

So as not to lose more, they remain silent. They have the right afterall.

~~~~ The Gavel falls

They realize they are wet, perhaps with sweat or perhaps with piss. They are traumatized. They lost all awareness of their bodies, the falling gavel brings them back into a physical reality. 
They look at each other, and for a brief moment, lose the boundries between self and other. They don't remember who they are, what language they speak. The capacity for mutual understanding has lessened, 

Ty: So, the RESONANCE PRINT seems to be a success. When do you think we can start shipping? 

 (vocal export happening now)

We are finished!
Thank youuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

thank youuuuu i can feel the whalesssssme too
thank you back ☆゚.*・。゚ 
thank you!
thank you all
thank you!
thank you amy!! 
thanks so much :)
woohoo amy and max!!
THANK YOU TO MY IN HOUSE SUPPORT MAX !!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you Max :) get a coffee now!! yah
go max!
More information on references

The text that interferes, Lawrence Abu Hamdan's Aural Contract: Forensic Listening and the Reorganisation of the Speaking-Subject was accessed from an online library made by Liquid Architecture, an Australian organisation for artists working with sound and listening. They have a really great selection of resources and lectures which we will now share. Thank you Liquid Architecture, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Maryanne Amacher for your work.

Aural Contract: Forensic Listening and the Reorganisation of the Speaking-Subject can be found in here>

And the sound that interferes, RECEIVED PRONUNCIATIONS.
This sound archive consists of audible extracts of works and interviews by Lawrence Abu Hamdan together with specific fragments of juridical listening and speaking collected from a wide range of sources including the trials of Saddam Hussein and Judas Priest, UK police evidence tapes, films such as Decoder and readings from texts like Italo Calvino's A King Listens. Listeners can access this collection of tracks articulated through listening-seminars and voice-activated audio installations in which individual components of the archive are pooled, extracted and turned into longer audio essays, texts and investigations. The narratives folded into these 3-minute segments expand and combine, generating narrative compositions and essays that weave through the content of this archive and plunge listeners into the heart of a discussion about the relationship between listening and politics, borders, human rights, testimony, truth and international law.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan <>
and this video work Walled Unwalled (2018) is very very good <>
Liquid Architecture <>
and their Machine Listening Curriculum <>
their machine listening library <>
which included this essay by Maryanne Amacher <>
we also read from a book by sound artist Alvin Lucier called Eight Lectures on Experimental Music <>
and this article as adpatation of the essay on Intelligent Life <>

What else we listened to,

A Mechanical Speech Recogniser <>
City Links 2020 - a tribute to Maryanne Amacher (InfraSound) <>
InfraSound <>
Maryanne Amacher, Petra <>
and a bonus if you want to hear Amacher talking about the Maas Tunnel in Rotterdam!
Maryanne Amacher: The Problem with Recordings <>