I Am Sitting in a Room, YouTube Style

I Am Sitting in a Room” is one of the best known works of experimental music composer Alvin Lucier. In the piece, he records himself speaking, plays it back while re-recording it, and repeated until the words become unintelligible and simply “the pure resonant harmonies and tones of the room itself”.

YouTube user canzona decided to pay homage to Lucier, and “covered” the piece in his own room using YouTube as the medium.

I started this project exactly 1 year ago, almost to the hour. The final version is a lot different than I thought it would be, I was expecting a lot more digital video noise, and a lot less digital audio noise. Let this be a lesson, though, always be careful how you convert your digital media!

An homage to the great Alvin Lucier, this piece explores the ‘photocopy effect’, where upon repeated copies the object begin to accumulate the idiosyncrasies of the medium doing the copying. Full words: I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice as well as the image of myself, and I am going to upload it to YouTube, rip it from YouTube, and upload it again and again, until the original characteristics of both my voice and my image are destroyed. What you will see and hear, then, are the artifacts inherent in the video codec of both YouTube and the mp4 format I convert it to on my computer. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a digital fact, but more as a way to eliminate all human qualities my speech and image might have.

Here’s the original video before the 1,000 copies:

This is similar to the JPG generation loss experiments we posted last year. Experiments with VHS generation loss are also pretty interesting.

(via Boing Boing)