After spending a day in Baroque Cathedrals in Berlin with images of Leibniz I return to my desk to discover ‘The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque’ by Deleuze. Some things just seem to occur that way… Slightly stunned by the opening page in ‘Pleats of Matter’ where Deleuze mentions the cryptographer as someone who is needed to peer into the folds – need to explore this within steganography. Through creating messages that transmit via steganographic means am I folding these sounds, texts, images into the digital noise that enables hidden transmission? To utilise steganography in digital code a user can simply manipulate the Least Significant Bit (LSB) of the binary string for example the final ‘1’ in this 8-bit string 10011101 could be changed to ‘0’ and the original thing, let’s say digital photo, would not appear to change. The photo of the dog will still look like a dog – the user has simply manipulated the noise in the image. If this is done across the entire file then it is possible to hide another picture, of a cat, inside the picture of the dog, or a sound file – video gets big and complicated but still possible. Are there folds in the 8-bit string? Are there other folds in the physical objects and devices at use in my practice?
Steganography – the process of hiding in plain sight. The unknown signal beneath the surface. Potentially interesting insight from science fiction – remember the ‘listening bugs’ from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Communication devices hidden from sight – they are there but only found if you actually know they are there. Dates back to ancient China where slaves were shaved and tattooed with information, then, once the hair grows back, they could travel across borders of villages, towns, Countries containing a hidden message – transmitting a hidden message. By modulating an LED at audio amplitude (mimicking AM Radio) it is possible to transmit a clear audio signal hidden within light playing with what is there and possible to be experienced by an audience. How can this be performed? Various devices / tools / instruments have therefore been developed through playful workshops to explore this fascinating process for the purposes of understanding the technology or building an installation or developing a performance. Once we have this hidden signal to transmit we are now able to manipulate audio using visual devices (is metaphor at play in here? – this was asked of me during a recent exhibition installation), for example, mirrors to ‘bend’ sound around physical architecture.