At the behest of corporate copyright holders, media sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo have implemented listening algorithms designed to identify uploaded music. However, these “Content ID” systems are designed to presume all use is illegal use; every match is automatically flagged, muted, and/or removed. Music Obfuscator enables users to hide music from Content ID. Each audio track submitted to the Obfuscator will be altered using a variety of signal processing techniques. The degree of alteration will be adjustable in order to accommodate changes in detection systems over time. How drastic will the changes need to be to evade detection? What kind of an aural world can exist on the edges of computational listening? The Music Obfuscator helps us understand the answers to these questions. The system is web-based, allowing easy drag-and-drop of audio files, and—with permission—archives obfuscated results for others to browse.
Benjamin Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that explore the cultural, social, and political implications of software. His works have been exhibited at Eyebeam in New York, The White Building in London, the Media Art Biennale in Wroclaw, the Digital Arts Festival in Athens, FILE in São Paulo, the Telecom Italia Future Center in Venice, and Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Grosser’s artworks have been featured in Wired, The Atlantic, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, Creative Applications Network, Neural, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Al Jazeera, Corriere della Sera, El País, and Der Spiegel. The Huffington Post said of his Interactive Robotic Painting Machine that “Grosser may have unknowingly birthed the apocalypse.” The Chicago Tribune called him the “unrivaled king of ominous gibberish.”Slate referred to his work as “creative civil disobedience in the digital age.” His recognitions include First Prize in VIDA 16, an international award recognizing works investigating art and artificial life, a Net Art Grant and Commission from Rhizome, and the Expanded Media Award for Network Culture from the Stuttgarter Filmwinter.