Information overload, analogue style

Hungarian design collective NOMAD capture the rhythm of life on tape
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The Walkmans play 'Cacophony' by NOMAD
The Walkmans play 'Cacophony' by NOMAD

From email and texts to Facebook, Twitter and Skype (not to mention the subtle nod, wink or gesture of our offline, real world) we communicate in many different ways in any one day. So it's not surprising that sometimes this becomes overwhelming and good information gets lost along the way.

NOMAD, a Hungarian design collective comprising András Pongor, Soma Pongor, Pásztor Bence and David Tarcali, has delved into simplifying this barrage of communication with Cacophony, a set of cassette tapes highlighting the possible problems that can come with the flow of information we receive.

The same length of tape is fed through five Walkman style tape machines, each hooked up to a speaker which plays the music out loud. The tape heads in each are at varying distances from each other so the music is heard in a chaotic, out of kilter fashion. This disorder is added to by some Walkmans playing louder than others.

Cacophony tries to reflect what NOMAD calls the "human misaudition, the lapse of information and the social problems which derive from" a constant flow of information. The clear design and transparent structure used serves to strengthen the meaning of the work.

Through its work in design, art and architecture, NOMAD tries to understand the modern world and the space in which we move. Past works have included K253 (2009) (below) a study into the viewpoints, sound, movement and direction of attention within an auditorium using hundreds of strands of wool converging from each of the seats to a fixed point on the main stage; and an entry to design the façade of a temporary pavilion made out of books for WoodCave, a competition run by Finnagora, the culture and science institute of Finland in Budapest, and Hungarian architecture and design magazine hg.hu.


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