Party Lab Proper

The Center for Non-amoral Surveillance is a site-specific matrix of microphones set up throughout an area of high community traffic for the purpose of recording and studying crowd noise. The first instance of this project is set up in The Silent Barn, a DIY arts work and performance space located in Ridgewood Queens NY that I have been living in for the past 5 years. With multiple artists occupying the space, events several times a week, this was an ideal location to try this system out. The microphones are positioned for recording the sound of multiple people interacting, just above average head height, in positions of most likely gathering. The overall noise of a crowd can be interpreted from multiple points. By increasing or decreasing the sensitivity of any one mic position, an observer can bring out different qualities of the crowd. As the sound of a crowd consist of a garbled mass of layered conversations, changing the mic sensitivity will give prominence to the nearest conversation, but the overall environment will still be that of a foaming mess of noise. Since it is meant to study the rhythms of a crowd, and not remove information content, the normal emotional relationship and reaction to surveillance is confounded. This is the Non-Amoral quality.

Party Lab: A Center For Non-Amoral Surveillance



I. Recording and Mic Set Up

 [Silent Barn]

[St Cecilia’s “Active Witness Laboratory”]

[Rotterdam @ Worm]


Big ass old mixer and brightly colored audio cable (two conductor shielded stranded wire), and microphones of any type.

Effects units. Tape deck and digital recording setup. 

Large live style mixer with many aux sends and inputs allows for on the spot configuration of recording projects.

Material for “control panel” (creative mounting of the mixer)

 The Tapes


II. Party Lab “Sound Walk” System


 Delayed Relay Array (DRA)

[Bright White Underground]

Delay Units. Microphones. Powered speakers. Audio cable (two conductor shielded stranded wire)


Delay chains run from input in one room to output in another room. Each room contains one or more speakers and microphones. Different delay settings cause echoed sound to “walk” around the building. Sound events are passed around the space, time delay controls move events, fragments of the past, around in the present.  



Android robot head

III. Archive and Deep Listening “Data Analysis Center”


[Swill Children]

[Tape Label]

[Clock Tower Gallery]


Tape Deck. Speakers, computer for ripping audio/playing audio

Headphones. Comfy chair. Isolated space (any room)


Deep Listening area of long, multi-room recordings of crowd noise, or social event. The onslaught of sonic information makes different listeners respond to different stimuli in the recording, resulting in vastly different perceptions of the details of “an event” or block of sound. This is evident by the notes each listener is encouraged to take, and by autobiographical information that relates to the skill of focusing and attention span in general.

Lab Reports

IV. Oracle                                        

Party Prophecy:"what conditions does this KIND OF A TIME IN THIS SPACE have irrespective of the conditions of TIME and SPACE?"


Robin Enrico,
Feb 23, 2012, 9:23 AM
Robin Enrico,
Feb 23, 2012, 9:25 AM
Robin Enrico,
Feb 23, 2012, 9:26 AM
Robin Enrico,
Feb 23, 2012, 9:27 AM
Robin Enrico,
Feb 23, 2012, 10:10 AM
Robin Enrico,
Feb 10, 2012, 1:09 AM