Artist Focus 12: Brian House

23 September, 2013

Brian House is a media artist whose work traverses alternative geographies, experimental music, and a critical data practice. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he seeks to negotiate between algorithms and the rhythms of everyday life. He is currently a doctoral student at Brown University in the Music and the Modern Culture and Media departments and teaches in the Digital + Mesdia program at RISD.

Quotidian Record

Quotidian record is a vinyl record made from recoding the artist’s location date over an entire year.

Every place, city, country the artist visited were record using GPS on a phone and then assigned a musical note.

Each rotation of the record represents a day and night in the artist’s life, a 24 hour period.

There are 365 rotations on the record, the entire year lasts 11 minutes.

The sounds suggest that our daily rituals and travels have an inner rhythm. Might these daily rhythms create a new kind of portrait of an individual?


Joyride shows us the path of a stolen iPhone over 5 days. By utilising the application OpenPaths, the artist was able to track Sue’s phone and even locate the house of the thief. Brian then used this data coupled with images from Google Earth to recreate the phone’s journey.

The artist, working like a detective had to piece together the most likely path the phone would have taken between the regular intervals of its GPS signal using Google directions to help join the dots. The jolted video stems from the way in which Google earth only shows us images from set intervals along a pathway.

If our phones are sending out signals constantly, we can use home computers to track a stolen phone and recreate its journey. We must consider how much other date is being collected about our movements, just as this work represents the journey of a stolen phone, it could have easily been the phone in your pocket. Where are we now and more importantly who knows?

Brian House presents us with on one level the artwork, but also the subtext of how much do we really want to share? How much control do we have, if any, over our date and in turn our privacy?

Revolution is a return to form, new voices for first principles, it is the body in the data, the sound in the network, the hack that reveals the truth.


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