In a typical neural network application, layers of simulated neurons are used to compute an output based on some input. The Ecstacy of Communication explodes the network to a human scale, both in terms of space and in terms of time. The result is a spatially-situated conflation of neural network and swarm intelligence, a population of sound-making devices interacting with each other and the sounds in their environment. Our focus shifts to the very activity of the network; the generative process itself becomes the art.
The piece comments on the role of the artist working with increasingly mechanized composition methods. From serialism, through chance operations, to recursive grammars and neural networks, the composing subject is progressively removed from local decisions and begins designing processes and systems, developing form in the abstract, playing with intensities, with intuition. The work also serves to inquire if recent non-symbolic approaches to AI are more appropriate in the making of art and perhaps in the modeling of intelligence. It, furthermore, brings our attention to the spatio-temporal specificity of sound, exploring some of the co-determining interplay between sound and architecture. Finally, the work calls attention to contemporary society caught up in a frenzy of networks and signals, in what Baudrillard called an "Ecstasy of Communication".