Dislocated Agency: Methods for Web-Based Sound Generation 

Signal Culture Cookbook, Volume 2

Diagram of data collection and sound generation for Co•-st•-l W•-ve Tr•-nsl•-tor

Edited by Jason Bernagozzi


Increasingly, we are faced with issues of immense scale and complexity and we require materials that can articulate that which is distant, obscured or imperceptible. Data can serve as an important material that can be accessed, copied and translated into an artwork. This article explains the process for creating a web-based procedurally generated, continuously updating sound composition using the Javascript webAudioAPI. It also explains how to power this sound composition with a solar panel.

This article is based on the process used to create an artwork called Co•–st•–l W•–ve Tr•–nsl•–tor, which translates wave data collected from weather buoys located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, into sound. The project aimed to offer a meditation on the unseen, intermediary space between borders: the space where countless traverse, the space that continues to rise. It grapples with issues related to Australian coastlines: climate change-related sea-level rise and water-based immigration. Drawing on oceanic communication and Morse code, the work creates a sensory proposition of the distress signals tied to the ocean.

Ward, Devon and Kynan Tan. 2019. “Dislocated Agency: Methods for Web-Based Sound Generation”. In Signal Culture Cook Book: Volume 2. (Oswego: Signal Culture) 124-144