Title: Sun Sucker

Artist: Ken Gregory   Exhibition year: 2011

Sun Sucker is a sound installation consisting of multiple electronic insect-like audio microorganisms, which work together as a group. The organisms live outside. They are powered by solar energy. Each member of the group is able to communicate, listen (receive) and talk (transmit) to all the others. The group works together creating a multi-layered soundscape of songs by passing collected sensor information in data packets back and forth on a serial based wireless network. The system consists of approximately 8 small identical microprocessor based electronic units mounted in frames on poles that are planted in the ground. Each unit operates independently but will work with the others as a group transmitting, receiving and reacting to the environment and themselves. The installation questions and comments on issues of artificial life, sound pollution, and the impact of technology on the environment. The inspiration for the Gregory's Sun Sucker was based on research into the impact of colonial intervention into Australia's environment with introduced species of non-native animals and plants which are now known to be detrimental to the naturally occurring habitats flora and fauna. Close observations revealed the effect of messing with the environment with the idea of improving on nature and how the accumulated effect can be devastating.

Winnipeg artist Ken Gregory has been working with DIY interface design, hardware hacking, audio, video, and computer programming for over 15 years. These works are presented in the form of gallery installations, live performances, live radio broadcasts, and audio compact discs.