The Network Ensemble is a data-noise duo focussing on the friction between communication networks and infrastructures of power.
Since 2015, the Network Ensemble has been translating data from wireless communication systems into audiovisual signals. This information is covertly obtained from locations where network infrastructure and structures of power intersect. These may include a US embassy spying on the local government; an airport engaged in secretive deportations; and the Vatican transmitting its powerful radio signals; and so on...
This practice necessitates the creation of custom machines and software, tools which have been used live in a dozen performances across Europe. The Network Ensemble was founded by Francesco Tacchini (IT) + Oliver Smith (UK) and is the sound unit of the Demystification Committee.
19 October 1987, New York Stock Exchange.
Against a volatile backdrop of bombing in the Persian Gulf, a Great Storm forcing European financial markets to close and the excitement around the rise of computer program trading, the Dow Jones suffers its heaviest percentage loss ever. On that Black Monday, half a billion dollars are wiped from US stock markets. With computerised trading an untested novelty in Wall Street, a network capable of placing thousands of orders triggered a domino effect, dragging markets into a downward spiral. “A demon of our own design”.
19 October 2018, Berlin.
31 years after Black Monday, the Network Ensemble re-enacts the events of the day, collecting video footage and wireless network data from the NYSE using a new portable machine* it developed. Both streams will be transmitted live to Berlin, where today’s network data and historical financial data are translated into sonic signals and mixed with audio commentary from the day, alongside projected imagery of the NYSE.