Permasound (Finland)


Since the late 1980’s, Mikko Maasalo has explored sound, image and their interrelations in his formalist art, investigating for example, the structure and characteristics of sound and light, and the formation and principles of visual and aural perception.

Permasound is a web-based generative audio program which utilises certain aspects of the individual user’s computer and its operating environment. The variations in different computer web browsers, processing speeds and modem speed fluctuations are all used to influence the playback of audio file sequences (which themselves consist of HTML documents and code)

Maasalo skilfully adapts and utilises low-end technology to meet his purposes. Permasound can also be seen as a critical statement towards what Maasalo sees as the religion of technology; it offers a relevant alternative to obsessively accelerating digital technology and broader bandwidth by concentrating on creating better content for already existing technology and slower connections. Permasound does not require any specific plug-ins, fast computers nor high-speed connections. Anyone with a basic knowledge of HTML coding and the simplest audio editing tools can easily edit and develop the basic settings of the software. It is easy to copy, combine and replace existing sounds in order to create new audio pieces.

The regenerative properties of Permasound are based on the glitches, interruptions and the many obstacles that information encounters on its way from the server to the user. ”In a way it charts the route of information moving from one point on the web to the next, and presents its history in audible form...”

Permasound was produced and first presented on the Lovebytes Festival on Digital Space audio CD/CD-ROM (2000). In this year's Avanto Festival the piece will be presented in the Muu Gallery as a non-interactive installation version. TE

For more information, please visit the Permasound website.

Everyday 6-11.11.2001 - Muu Gallery
Permasound installation
Tuesday - Friday, 12:00-17:00
Saturday - Sunday, 12:00-16:00