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workspace for experimental music and sound art
07/01/2019 - 24/01/2019

During this residency Jasmine Guffond will focus on recording musical work with her custom made Chrome browser Plug-In, Listening Back.

Listening Back is a practice-based research project that explores sound as a method of investigation into the nature of contemporary digital surveillance. Focused on the proliferation of ubiquitous online surveillance, and the methods by which our information flows are intercepted by mechanisms of automated data collection, the project addresses sound, not primarily as an object of study, but as a means of creative inquiry. Listening Back is also the title of a custom made plug-in for the Chrome browser that sonically notifies Internet users of the tracking cookies that collect personal and identifying data by storing a file on your computer. By translating internet cookies into sound, the Listening Back browser Plug-In provides a means to critically engage with ubiquitous monitoring infrastructures inherent to the functioning of the World Wide Web. Named after the computer science term “magic cookie”, internet cookies are commonly used for data profiling by advertising, corporations and governments, by placing a small file on the user’s computer. Utilising digital waveform synthesis, the real time sonification of internet cookies produces an audible presence for hidden processes that collect personal and identifying data and considers the ways in which our everyday relationships to being surveilled have become normalised. Our access to the World Wide Web is visually mediated by screen devices and this project explores how sound can help us engage with complex phenomena beyond apparent materiality.


Jasmine Guffond will use the time at Q-O2 to explore the potential of the Listening Back Chrome Browser Plug-In and subsequently the World Wide Web as a musical instrument by focusing on producing audio recordings. While I have performed with Listening Back live, and in a sound installation context, I am yet to explore it’s potential for creating recorded musical work. I could also present the project as a live performance lecture.

Sebastian Dingens - WALKS
Pavel Tchikov 29/11/23
Nika Son - Scatter

Q-O2 is supported by the Flemish Community, VGC and the European Union
Koolmijnenkaai 30-34
B-1080 Brussels