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The Western Pattern (2014)

interactive sound art installation

The Western Pattern is an interactive sound art installation created in the graphical programming language Max/Msp. This work ruminates on the consequence of globalized culture and the resulting pattern of uncanny repetition within our environment. Using real-time data retrieval, this work creates a unique musical motif or “jingle” based on the global position of all major American-based fast food restaurants in the world. After a user enters a specific location query, the nearest eateries are visualized as familiar corporate logos on a computer screen, proportionally organized according to GPS position. A rotating line is superimposed over the icons and a musical tone sounds as a restaurant icon is passed over by the line’s clockwise trajectory. The resulting short cyclical phrases, where each restaurant’s coordinates are mapped to pitch, are strikingly similar in sound regardless of any preconceived cultural boundaries that exist from one city or country to another.