Ethernet Signal Processing Studies, 2016, Allen Riley

The premise of ethernet signal processing studies is to bring a aspects of the physical infrastructure of the Internet to the surface of the user-interface and to express how computers and the Internet exist within a broad electronic ecosystem with direct historical ties to analog video and electronic art.

I previously explored the idea of using a wired Internet connection as a signal source in analog audio/visual synthesis in Electronic Internet, an installation I created for my 2012 graduate thesis project at the New York State College of Ceramics.

In January 2016, I worked with Matthew Underwood at Signal Culture in Owego, NY to build several audio/video patches that used the signal carried by the ethernet RX +/- wires as a control voltage in Doepfer modules, a David Jones Colorizer, and EAB Videolab video synthesizer.

In August 2016, I returned to my earlier approach to simply running the ethernet RX signal through an amplifier and Boss DD2 delay pedal at a workshop at the Lower East Side Ecology Center that explored links between early video art and Douglas Engelbart's NLS prototype and concept of "human augmentation."

To create this piece, I spliced the transmission (TX) and receiving (RX) wires inside an ethernet cable with patch cables and routed the Internet packet signal into the modular audio/video system at Signal Culture.

The electronic fluctuations of the connection are seen and heard through guitar amps and an analog television. By clicking links and loading pages, the user experiences the transmission of data as a physical event.