Signal to Noise is a fascinating installation for Luminato 2012, an arts festival that begins in Toronto on June 8. This work transforms random letters into legible words with a satisfying flapping sound emitted by its moving parts.
Created by the Belgian artists LAb[au], it’s made of discarded technology and salvaged components from the information displays that predated LED monitors in public spaces like airports and train stations. The flaps rotate randomly until the system identifies a word. (I’ve watched this video a number of times now. It’s kind of hypnotic.)
UPDATE: JUNE 10 I have just come back from the Toronto airport, where this work is installed. The noise is actually much softer than on the video, and anngrafics is right. It does indeed sound most like rain – or perhaps the sound of distant typing by a great many people, in a far away typing pool. You had to wait to step near enough to the installation to hear it. Very very popular, on a main concourse in the Air Canada terminal, on the way to overseas gates.