formatBreak0 is an experiment in accessing raw digital data in different formats as sonic material.
(essay coming soon)
An immense world of information is swirling about inside of the device on which you read these words.
There is room to store hours and hours of music and volumes of text.
The files which store all of this information take various shapes: .mp3, .pdf, .wav, and so on.
These digital containers are what make it possible to access the information in a way that is understandable.
A stream of 1's and 0's means nothing to a person, but when decoded as, for example, a .pdf file, it is translated
into a language one can understand. This is the value of a format.
Formats are filters through which we pass information, transforming it from indecipherable to comprehensible.
This transformation leaves a certain residue on the data.
Unpack a .txt file in its intended order and you will find the textual information which the document was meant to convey.
Unpack that same file as an audio file and you will hear a seemingly random stream of noise, clicks, beeps, and drones.
Save the same text file in a different format before opening it as audio, and you will hear something different at the last stage.
The data is ordered and thus colored by its format.
Dartmouth College, Bregman Music and Audio Research Studio, Hanover, NH (03/07/2013)