C H R Θ M A, Byzantium (2015)

Byzantium is a sound experiment from artist group C H R Θ M A investigating visionary language, birdsong and participatory algorithms, installed outside FACT on Ropewalks Square with an accompanying installation in Gallery 2's FACTLab.

For Libidinal Circuits, a golden bird will perch in a tree in Ropewalk square, singing a polyphonic mix of the city’s desires, frustrations, memories and dreams. Like Yeats’ mechanical golden bird that sings in the eternal city in his poem Sailing to Byzantium, this metal bird will sound what is “past or passing or to come” by combining voices collected from the streets of Liverpool with audio streams of bird habitats out beyond the city limits.


The development of Byzantium during Build Your Own invites the public into the FACTLab to co-create oracles. This project is part of C H R Θ M A (Paul Hayes, Kate Genevieve and Will Scobie)’s running experiment into technological circuits and symbolic, ex- pressive language. Inspired by the historical concept of the “Language of the Birds” or the “green language”, a natural and symbolic language of vital creative communication said to run through myth, metaphor and everyday language, like a vital green seam through history. 

In 2015, network technology is increasingly used by companies to crowd-source human beings as isolated working components of large automated systems, designed to produce commercial content and financial profit. This project explores alternative participatory algorithms that invite expressive, divergent and creative words and mischievously invokes the “green language” of the city.


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