Test Sites

2010 - November - Unsound Systems v.2
Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK
http://www.sitegallery.org/archives/2759

AUDiNT emerged directly from the Ghost Army in 1945 at the end of the WW2. It was started by 3 defectors who understood the secret power of the Ghost Armies experimentation with tone records and frequencies, and yet wished those findings to be public domain and not merely monopolized by the military. They decided to try to make these findings an open secret, available in the public domain, yet camouflaged among other musical recordings. To do this, original members of AUDiNT devised what they referred to as the Dead Record Network. The sound from the 3 discs involved in The Ghost Army’s secret frequency synthesis weapon was split up and re-distributed in packets on sound effects records - an analog precursor to torrent culture. It had originally been thought that the actual, original records had been distributed around the dead record network, but it was recently discovered by AUDiNT that only the tones were distributed. The vinyl itself had been smashed but the bits were kept. Elsworth KellyElsworth Kelly, was a visual artist who was also who was part of The Ghost Army and who went on to become a renowned American painter and sculptor associated with hard edge, colour field painting and the minimalist school. In 1951, Kelly produced a piece entitled ‘Colours for a Large Wall’ in which 64 30cm x 30cm coloured squares were arranged in an 8x8 grid. In interviews, Kelly described the distribution of the colours in this grid as random. In 2010, AUDiNT received information that the distribution of coloured squares in Kelly’s 1951 piece was actually a coded transmission referring to the lost Ghost Army recordings. They also received a tip off that the lost Ghost Army tones had been located in 2nd hand vinyl carried in charity shop records in the Yorkshire area of the UK. AUDiNT relocated to investigate these claims and attempted to use the sleeves of the uncovered records to hack Ellsworth Kelly’s grid matrix barcode. Elsworth Kelly’s painting, it turned out, represented the 64 destroyed records from the Ghost Army archive. Kelly had always refused to discuss such allegations in interviews. Part of AUDiNT’s brief was to recreate versions of ‘Colours for a Large Wall’ in order to investigate this coded message by eliminating the colours of the original piece, and exploring the possibility that the shades of light and darkness actually corresponded to a kind of primitive version of what has come to be known as a matrix grid barcode.