Reactor

The Popping Soundscape of Electronic Media

by An Xiao on March 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES — There are sounds all around. Clicks and taps from keyboards, pings and pongs from phones, honks and heys from the streets. It’s a treasure trove out there for sound artists.

A recent post of Co.DESIGN turned me to the work of Chris Crutchfield, who made a video to highlight the incredible soundscape all around us. It starts with him working at the computer and moves rhythmically through a series of text messages, chair creeks, heel taps and door bells.

Part of the video’s effectiveness is Crutchfield’s expressive face, which registers exasperation, frustration and curiosity while all the sounds float past. Indeed, that’s the source of his inspiration:

“One day I got an email, an sms, a phone call, a Facebook message and two tweets all within about 5 seconds of one another. This video is a re-manifestation of my brain’s interpretation of that event.#trustory”

The video reminds me of the recent “Don’t Be That Test Taker” video floating around the internets, and the famous interludes from Zatoichi, including a repurposing of farming hoes in rhythmic tension (my favorite, below, does this with masonry work). What Crutchfield does well is highlight the new noises, and all the distractions, of a world rife with iPhones and Facebook and all kinds of push alerts.

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