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October 29, 2016
Tonight's finale of 9e2 was marked by a couple of extraordinary sound performances. Hemispheres placed the audience inside a 3D sonic model of the performer's realtime brain activity as she reacted to and reprocessed ambient sounds from the immediate environment. EEG sensors on the front, back, top, and sides of her brain corresponded to speakers placed around the space, which made for a heady feeling in that old building, which became a kind of skull for sounds that ricocheted like thoughts.       Gene Splicing by John Roach seemed to suggest that if you want to make omelettes, you need to break some eggs. More-or-less randomly generated prompts based on their own genetic sequencing guided two percussionists who tapped, pounded, rubbed, bowed, and ultimately hurled an array of resonant glass objects--chimes, bowls, rods, and globes with rolling balls rattling around inside. Those lovely artifacts were not long for this world. Maybe that's a metaphor for how the vessels that pass information are shorter-lived than the information itself.          That was certainly the message shared by Johannes Goebel at the Henry earlier in the afternoon. His bottom line on the durability of digital information is the data itself can be stored almost indefinitely on various media (M discs seem best) but the means of retrieval are more fragile than we think due to a universal weak link in the hardware boot-up process no one seems to have considered before.           All this data is just snowflakes in a blizzard that will melt sooner or later anyway.