Endangered Sounds is a project started last year by Garth Paine –artist and head of Electronic Arts at the University of Western Sydney– that questions the legitimacy of privatizing and protecting sounds released at random in public spaces.
First stage of the project is to look for and list Trade Marked and Patented sounds. Then this list is published on the internet with a call for volunteers to collect samples of the listed sounds internationally. Volunteers collect the sound by placing the test tube close to the source (capturing air through which the sound travelled), then they complete the label, documenting the time, place and nature of the sound (including a volume level).
The project was shown for the first time at Biennale of Electronic Arts in Perth (Australia, till 7th November) where Patented sounds are played inside glass vacuum descicators, containing a loud speaker and solar powered audio playback, in theory breaking the legal protection of the patent, but being inaudible due to the vacuum, questioning the conditions under which the patent has validity.
Last stage is the creation of a grave yard for “dead” sounds.