Soundtrack for Webcams (2017)

Magnus Bugge

Sponsor: PNEK, Host: V2_Lab

At any given moment, thousands of webcams all over the world are actively observing the world. Most of these cameras are always on; some broadcast uninterrupted for years on end. They capture mundane objects and aspects of everyday life, such as traffic jams and offices, and broadcast them online at low resolution, adding jitter, errors and glitches to the monotonous scenes. An aesthetic is created that we associate with the soulless machinery operating silently in the background of the information society, one that has become as recognizable to us as the scenes it captures.

Soundtrack for Webcams pairs these live scenes with an audio counterpart that evolves dynamically, as do soundtracks composed for films and video games. This soundtrack is generated entirely automatically on the basis of the editing pace and content of the live video streams. As in films and games, the soundtrack foregrounds our feelings toward the subject. Rather than being useless machinery staring into nothingness, these cameras suddenly seem to capture something quite significant.

This project was developed during a residency as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.