Prométhée Numérique

Hörspiel for radio and Internet


Prométhée Numérique is a participatory acoustic media art work for broadcast. Sounds submitted by internet- and mobilephone-users form generative materials of anonymous origin. Media streamed into the performance from scheduled artists in different locations contribute to the codes and structures of the entity. This participatory internet activity creates an living data-organism that constitutes the continuing evolving component of the project.

During the performance and live radio broadcast the composer takes over, activating and wiretapping the sleeping entity, ascertaining its physiognomy by filtering its amorphous state and building form. The performance/live radio piece is the spy that opens a media window to eavesdrop the creature at the time of the performance. The composer will sculpt visual and audio elements to create a dramaturgy of interpretation.

The process evokes the listener’s aural and visual imagination of an electronic being which can be all-embracing as well as distant, organic as well as algorithmic, at once life-like and artificial.

The piece addresses the eternal myth that there might be life and identity in the machine. By nurturing and shaping an entity of binary data, the project invites the participants to enter the creative process, while at the same time confronting them with the irony of struggle and release of absolute control.

Commission from Südwestrundfunk (SWR2) hörspiel. Performed at ZKM Karlsruhe Germany, IAMAS Gifu Japan, and Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT) Montréal on March 2002 as part of the Intermedium Festival of radio art.

Atau Tanaka, with

Antoine Schmitt, Peter Hanappe, Gregory Pignot, Reiko A, Shunichiro Okada, Zack Settel

Sabine Breitsameter, dramaturgue


Listen (128 kbps streaming)

Download audio (MP3)

MP3 - 10.9 Mb
Prométhée Numérique 1: Dormant
Dormant (1 of 5)
MP3 - 5.9 Mb
Promethee Numerique 2: Awakening
Awakening (2 of 5)
MP3 - 5.6 Mb
Promethee Numerique 3: Excited
Excited (3 of 5)
MP3 - 7.7 Mb
Promethee Numerique 4: Out of Control
Out of Control (4 of 5)
MP3 - 5.5 Mb
Promethee Numerique 5: Tamed
Tamed (5 of 5)

Download score, texts (PDF)

PDF - 603.6 kb
Prométhée Numérique score
PDF - 143.4 kb
Composing as a Function of Infrastructure
chapter from Surface Tension: Problematics of Site, edited by Ehrlich and Labelle, published by Errant Bodies Press
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