Macrophones


Brian House is an artist who investigates the rhythms of human and nonhuman systems. Through sound, subversive technology, and multidisciplinary research, he makes our interdependencies audible.

Artist Bio

Normally too low-frequency to hear, infrasound travels vast distances through the atmosphere. It comes from calving glaciers, wildfires, energy infrastructure, and even HVAC systems at massive data centers. Big phenomena like these are entangled with the climate crisis. If we could hear infrasound, could we listen to the crisis as it unfolds across the globe? Macrophones appropriates Cold War technology and combines it with cutting-edge signal processing and machine learning in order to make infrasound audible. Situated in locations including old-growth forests, the Arctic tundra, and city centers, the installation comprises electronics that record microbarometric fluctuations through a sculptural wind filter. The recordings are processed and resampled upward into an acoustic range that we can hear, and via audio augmented reality, listeners at the site hear infrasound spatially situated in the landscape around them. Paying attention to how we are connected through the atmosphere, rather than through the internet, is both poetic and political. My hope is that listening to infrasound from nearby and from thousands of miles away can cultivate the expanded sense of the local on which an equitable climate future depends.

Sustainable Development Goals icon SDG Goal icon for Climate Action.

Award Year
2023
Status

In Progress

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Brian House

Amherst, MA

Brian House is an artist who investigates the rhythms of human and nonhuman systems. Through sound, subversive technology, and multidisciplinary research, he makes our interdependencies audible in order to imagine new political realities. House has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Ars Electronica; the ZKM Center for Art and Media; the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, among others. The New York Times Magazine, WIRED, The Guardian, and TIME’s annual “Best Inventions” issue have featured his work, and his academic writing has been published in Leonardo, Journal of Sonic Studies, and e-flux Architecture. House holds a PhD in computer music from Brown University and was Associate Scholar at Columbia University’s Center for Spatial Research. He is assistant professor of art at Amherst College.