Belling Chapel, 2019
When we think that we can rely less on trust, human relations and government to keep us safe and well, corporate systems eagerly step in to manage security and decisions with cloud services, cybersecurity and AI. Belling lives on that edge between human-interaction-based communities and information technology systems. Belling has two interfaces, a physical space with VR and sound we call the Belling Chapel, and a web interface we call the Blip Challenge.
In this chapel, there are twelve bells. They are audible, but not visible, until you wear a VR headset. With the VR controller, you can strike the virtual bells to trigger their sounds.
Some bells will sound great, because they are in tune and their bell parameters are correct. Others will sound flat, clangy or off-key because the bell profile was compromised (or hacked) online. Every time you strike a bell, the Belling Chapel AI improves the sound of the bell, seeking to match it to some real bell recordings. The AI may even come up with novel bell sounds as it’s seeking bell perfection. However, if the bell profile is hacked, the AI has to start all over again.
In a way, the hacked bells are the noise that is needed to make the Belling Chapel real.
Blip Challenge is the online interface for the Bell profiles in the Belling Chapel. When you visit the site, you can see 3D renderings of all twelve bells in the chapel. Each bell has a password-protected spreadsheet which controls the bell profile. The passwords are secure, but with a bit of detective work and puzzle play they can be hacked. Anyone who can crack the password challenge can change the bell profiles, and therefore the sound of the bells.
Greg Niemeyer, Olya Dubatova