Invisible Lines

Adam Basanta & Julian Stein

Invisible Lines explores the artistic potential of controlled feedback, and subsequently, the ability to compose temporal structures with microphone feedback as primary material. Six iconic SM58 microphones are coupled with six extracted speaker cones. Functioning as elementary components in both sound reinforcement systems and the history of sound art, the relationship between each microphone/speaker pair becomes audible. The six audible feedback loops are controlled by custom software which oscillates between states of stability and instability, resulting in a self-regulating and self-balancing system. 

Beyond the reining in of feedback-“squeal”, the system accurately determines the pitch and envelope of audible feedback; the once unwanted byproduct gains a notion of instrumentality, or instrumental capacity. In this sense, Invisible Lines plays off dangerous expectations and attempts to showcase feedback as a quiet, pitched, delicately unstable, acoustic and relational phenomena.

Invisible Lines was awarded the 2014 Edith-Russ-Haus Award for Emerging Media Artists.