Otto’s Ghost

Otto's Ghost modules
Otto’s Ghost modules – click for gallery

Otto’s Ghost is the name for the installation of the autonomous sound units that I have written many posts about. I along with a group of 6 research assistants fabricated 300 of the beasts over the summer for a October 30th debut at the Art in Odd Places 2013 in Greensboro NC. The AiOP is a long running project from artist/director Ed Woodham and this version was in coordination with SECAC 2013. Many thanks to funding source that helped us get there: UWF Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant, UWF SGA Travel Grant, and the kind support of the UWF Department of Art.

Otto's Ghost sample from kid Neutrino on Vimeo.

Otto’s Ghost sample from kid Neutrino on Vimeo.


I wasn’t sure why I wanted to install these in the natural setting until I had a few more experiences living with the work. I was living amongst a limited number (ten or so) of the autonomous singers and I began to notice some interesting phenomena.

The song from ten of these units was really complex. It shifts through alignment and interference of the signals and create a complex set of rhythms. A friend introduced me to renowned psychologist and musician, Dr. Michael DeMaria at a studio one evening; we had a very interesting discussion about the how work exhibits the basics of emergence theory . My second observation is that throughout the day the chirps emitted change as the angle of the sun/shade, clouds, etc. would move by. This emergent chorus shifts with the environment; the changes create a soundscape that is directly tracking the movement of time and really resonated on physical level. It is an ecosystem of input and response emerging. It is very strange and wondrous, you can feel this deeply and intuitively.