To Be Listened To... (AKA sound files that may be downloaded and experienced with the hope of some sort of resolution or at least a moment of clarity)

MTAA's Proposal for Rhizome 05-06 Net Art Commission


The podcast phenomenon has shown how networked media may become more mobile and intimate than previously possible. One can listen to a casual conversation between a married couple cooking dinner in California while one jets from Bangkok to Hong Kong or experience the ranting of a cross-dressing middle-aged jewish women obsessed with yeast infections while relaxing in your La-Z-Boy in Alaska. The ease of production and dissemination of intimate or eccentric performances and the experience of these performances in unlikely contexts forms the basis for this project.

The project consists of 10 thematic podcast feeds. Each feed is open to audio programming by the online public. A website (authored in PHP) allows users to upload audio files (MP3-only) and subscribe to the feeds. The artists will not edit the uploads from users, but will seed each feed with audio files commissioned from 8 artists to be determined.

The ten feeds are:

  1. Prologue: To be listened to as you sit in front of your computer around midnight.
  2. To be listened to in a bar in Brooklyn on a spring Sunday afternoon, sipping a Bloody Mary, waiting for your love to appear.
  3. To be listened to with eyes closed in a theater before a movie starring Brando begins.
  4. To be listened to as you commute to the job you are thinking of leaving once again.
  5. To be listened to before calling 911 while waiting for something outside to stop fucking screaming.
  6. To be listened to while sitting on your kitchen floor holding a photograph of your father.
  7. To listened to in a park in Europe as you wait for the sun to rise and the snow to stop.
  8. To be listened to in a hotel near the Everglades while having sex in the afternoon.
  9. To be listened to while running, but not running as in jogging, running as in blindly racing though the streets without direction or goal.
  10. Epilogue: To be listened to as you fall asleep in the bed in the place that you call home.

The prologue and epilogue are programmed by the artists.

Educational links and commentary will help listeners learn about podcasts and how to use them.