Traffic 2

An important part of my work was gaining an understanding of how the network can play a part in our music making activities. Our exploration led beyond the concept of linking remote participants to how the network itself can become an essential part of the artwork. Traffic 2 and 3 are an expression of this idea.

Traffic 2 attempts to create spontaneous real time auditory compositions or improvisations using data gained from network traffic. A secondary aim is to test our understanding of the usage of network data in the public and private sphere. We treat the network as an unseen life form – a body in constant change – born from the usage patterns of the users of the system. By using network traffic as a tool for creating music we in effect illustrate this unseen form.

Unlike traditional musical performances, Traffic 2 does not exist over a set period of time. It is in effect never ending and never the same at any given point in time.

Traffic 2 uses a very simple logic. Pre-created sound files are dynamically played as there corresponding data id number is recorded by our server software. The first step, we use Carnivore to collect network data. Using the "sender ip" we got to call different sounds (or movies). The following is the formula:There are 4 numbers constitute an ip, eg. a.b.c.d, then we transfer it to an unique number using the operation: IPNun=a*16^3+b*16^2+c*16^1+d*16^0 to get an unique number IPNun, then mode it with the number (MovNum) of movies we have, i.e.(IPNun) mod (Movnum)The result is the movie number which we will call in the movies' sequence.

Both Traffic 2 and 3 use Carnivore, created by RSG , a surveillance tool for data networks. Carnivore listens to the Internet traffic (email, web surfing, etc.) on a given local network. Carnivore serves this datastream over the net to a variety of interfaces called “clients.” These clients are each designed to animate, diagnose, or interpret the network traffic in various ways. Carnivore clients have been produced by a number of computational artists and designers from around the world.

CarnivorePE is inspired by DCS1000, a piece of software used by the FBI to perform electronic wiretaps. (Until recently, DCS1000 was known by its nickname “Carnivore.”) Improving on the FBI software, CarnivorePE features new functionality including: artist-made diagnosic clients, remote access, full subject targetting, full data targetting, volume buffering, transport protocol filtering, and an open source software license.

“Carnivore” taps the data lines of the server on which it is installed. A flow of data is fed into a software client for the purposes of artistic performance.


The following 2 samples are real time captures of network generated music.