Digital technology has the power to transmit information more efficiently, to make the invisible visible, and to express new things. It can also be pushed so far to the limits of actually transmitting information to be meaningless. It can push well beyond what we can even perceive in a useful way. What’s bizarre and wonderful about Johannes Kreidler’s work is that he’s not afraid of pushing toward that boundary. The results may have only a shred of remaining meaning, or be intentionally, comically meaningless. But he’s nothing if not inventive.

Compression Sound Art (2009) [“Comments on Music – Musical Zip-Files … Time is relative!”

The video above, politically speaking, is Not Safe For Anything – where else can you bring up Hitler and Britney Spears and condoms? But the only visually tantalizing information is the brief view of a condom speaker membrane and a chest with pasties.

The creations range from:

An oven pipe imported in 1972 from Alaska to New Zealand, vibrated at 574 cycles per second using a gasoline motor. Then, in 2003, this recording was manipulated and filtered on an old atari computer using hacked software.


Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason, played 22,000 times in one second (audible only to bats).

The controversial nods and humor aside, I think this really does say something about time and data. I could tell you, but I’d need a microsecond. Let’s just avoid any mention of datamosh.

Johannes Kreidler does know how to encode information in useful, accessible ways, too, however. He’s done just that with a terrific book on Pd (Pure Data), the open source, visual programming environment in which he created works like the one above. Can’t dance to it? You can do other things with Pd, too. You can dance to it? Then, by all means, go for it:

Be a Music Geek Ninja with Electronic Music Programming in Pd: New Book

Previous Kreidler sightings:

A song made from 70,2000 samples

The stock market declines, as a song