Ghost is a sonic artwork which was premiered at ISEA Istanbul/ Istanbul Biennial in 2011. It is comprised of eight speakers, eight microphones and a ‘memory embedded’ network of neurons. Sounds are implanted into the network beforehand to provide the system with a buffer or ‘memory’, a small artificial cortex based on a non-linear integrate and fire spiking neuronal network model. Once installed, live sounds picked up by the microphones outside the installation space stimulated artificial spiking neurons modeled in the computer to ‘fire’, sending small fragments of sound to the eight speakers inside the building. If the external sounds failed to reach a particular threshold the ‘memory embedded’ sounds are heard. Over time, the external sounds start to embed themselves into the model, gathering sensory information and sonifying the past within the present.
Ghost was installed in Maksem in Taksim Square, one of the centres of Istanbul. The ambient noises were sounds of the city, trading, coffee houses, sirens and the Azan in an adjacent mosque. These sounds flickered through the eight speakers and often it was difficult to distinguish whether they were the being relayed externally or through the system as they cascaded though the neuronal model, a confluence of sonic happenings each overlapping the present and the recent past, reliving the stimulus of what has already been.