Dark house [web art]

A website without images, but with many sounds: Dark House (in Portuguese, ‘Casa Escura’), one of Fabio FON’s first sound experiments in web art. The visitor explored different virtual sound-tactile environments, following a possible route.

In 1999, Fabio FON was concerned with questioning the interface – the relationship between the user and the machine. During this period, two paradigmatic works were produced in its production: ONOS and Dark House. Unlike ONOS,
Dark House does not require a more specific repertoire of practices and situations linked to the computational environment. In this sense, it can be said that it is much more intuitive. This work was also developed in the then Macromedia Flash software (later, Adobe Flash), consisting basically of buttons sensitive to mouse movements that trigger different sounds.

Dark House was a work made up of different virtual sound-tactile environments, where in each of the environments, when traveling. groping the screen with his mouse, the audience was faced with the most diverse sounds – in different volumes and natures – that were repeated as the mouse went back through, creating chaos in a supposed proposal to go through rooms in a house. Some of the sounds, when clicked, were links to new sound “rooms”.

The sound effects that exist throughout the screens reproduce some sounds typical of the domestic universe, such as doors, telephones, appliances, watches, among others. However, on each screen, a button will be associated with a voice, with commands that aim to indicate the path for the visitor. Indications such as “follow!”, “This way!”, “Come!”, Show where it should be clicked for the exploration to continue, on a new screen with new sounds. In a visual medium par excellence, Dark House proposes the experience of the invisible, in a level of immersion where the dimension of sound, pure and simple, prevails. The interface is no longer visual but aural, tactile in the extension of our hand.

In reference to this work, Profª. Drª Cristina Costa (ECA / University of Sao Paulo), in her research on the narrative in electronic media, writes:

[An] experience that explores languages ​​other than verbal or literary was presented by Fabio Oliveira Nunes at the 2nd International Festival of Electronic Language – 2nd FILE. Casa Escura, a website created by the artist, offers visitors an experience based solely on sounds. The user is invited to interact with a dark screen in which the clicking of the mouse accesses sounds that simulate the entrance to a dark house and the route through its interior. Some expressions like Enter !, this way! and Watch out! were used, but the interaction is mainly tactile and sonic, with sounds that reproduce noise and not words.

Like ONOS, Dark House (Casa Escura) participated in the 2000 version of FILE – International Electronic Language Festival. A short report by the Folha de S. Paulo Brazilian newspaper, in the section “Guia da Folha”, on September 1, 2000, about the festival held at MIS – Museum of Image and Sound of São Paulo, was highlighted.

Automatic translation of the original page in Portuguese.