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Prix 1987 - 2007

Ars Electronica Linz & ORF Oberösterreich

Paul DeMarinis

Firebirds examines a power complex of interrelationships between fire and language from a diverse variety of technical, historical and metaphorical viewpoints. Firebirds is an audio installation consisting of four flame loudspeakers that recite the speeches of Benito Mussolini, Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The four flame loudspeakers of Firebirds are housed within birdcages, for me a reference to the afterlife. The voices of Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and Roosevelt are accompanied by the trillings and warblings of birdsong.

The cages of Firebirds are activated according to a precise score that allows for variation of speaker, number of voices speaking at once and location. The audio files are stored in CF-RAM as MP3 files. A number of PIC microcontrollers activate solenoids, solid state relays, audio hardware and high voltage modulating circuits to coordinate the ignition and modulation of the flames.