AND-OR:: searchSongs
Searchsongs represents the net's melody of yearning. It is a collaborative work by Johannes Auer and AND-OR.

SearchSongs captures the stream of words of Lycos' live search. This stream of words might be understood as an expression of collective desire, as the net's melody of yearning, which is played by thousands of people, who at any moment try to reach the desired by means of a search engine. This melody of yearning is made audible by SearchSongs.

Words contain playable tones of the musical notation system (c, d, e, f, g, a, h, c, fis, ces ...). On one side SearchSongs' web interface shows the stream of words of the live search, on the other side there are lines of musical notes below which transform playable letters in musical notes. Non-playable letters define the length of a tone.

In ancient Greece there already was a notation system of letters which was used for indicating the pitch of a tone, and the length of a tone was marked with a symbol written above the letter. A traditioned example is the Seikilos epitaph dated from the second century B.C. The most well known example of a word set to music by a letter notation system is the B-A-C-H motif, which Johann Sebastian Bach repeatedly used in his compositions.

SearchSongs refers to traditional letter notation systems like the Seikilos epitaph and the B-A-C-H motif. SearchSongs accentuates the correlation between letters and notes in a more determined and concrete way. Furthermore the theme of musical improvisation is juxtaposed by a random generator, and the strict rules of the musical notation system is antagonized by algorithme. In this respect at the end the subjective search is being objectivized by the melody of the SearchSongs.
However the SearchSongs keep their personal momentum by making it possible for visitors and listeners to interactively insert own words into the stream of words and take part in playing music.


SearchSong is a highly complex mesh of language and music interaction between human being, machine and net communication, between text input, musical notation, programming and a real-time stream of words of a live search.

SearchSongs will be shown as an installation or performed live.

SearchSongs is a collaborative project of Johannes Auer and AND-OR.

Searchsongs at Literaturhhaus Stuttgart, Germany, interpreted by Erik Borgir; 16/04/2008

Listen to the searchsongs radio performance from april 13, 2008 at ORF 1 > Kunstradio - Radiokunst

At Poeticum07, Kassel, Germany

At "Dichter am Aparat", Nov. 2009, Strauhof, Zuerich, Switzerland

Edinburgh 2012: Inspace, University, Remediating the Social. ELMCIP, nov. 1 - 17.
Kassel 2012: Kunsttempel, 3 durch 3. reihe sprachkunst, february 9.
San Diego 2011: Center for Research and Computing in the Arts, UCSD, writing becomes eclectric, january 27.
Javamuseum 2010: nmf - celebrate! netart features, from february 10, permanent.
Stuttgart 2010: h7 raumaufzeit, 23. Stuttgarter Filmwinter 2010, january 20 - 30.
Zürich 2009: Museum Strauhof, Dichter am Apparat, september 23 - november 29.
Berlin 2009: Akademie der Künste, POESIS: Sprachspiele, june 27 - july 5.
Vienna 2008: City Hall, future and reality of gaming (F.R.O.G.), october 17 - 19.
Bergen 2008: UIB, Landmark Café, electronic literature in europe, september 11 - 13.
Los Angeles 2008: L.A. Center for Digital Art (LACDA), Gallery Row,, DigitalArt.LA, august 14 - august 16.
Bremen 2008: Weserburg, Museum für moderne Kunst, Art on Air – Radiokunst im Wandel, april 26 - august 24.
Stuttgart 2008: Literaturhaus, Literatur und Strom 2, Netzgeschichten, april 16.
Vienna 2008: Radio ORF1, Kunstradio - Radiokunst, april 13.
Rio de Janeiro 2008: Oi futuro cultural centre, FILE RIO 2008, february 26 to march 30.
Kassel 2007: Kunsttempel, Poeticum 07 august 23 to september 23.
Sao Paolo 2007: SESI art gallery, FILE 07 august 13 to september 9.
Stuttgart 2007: City Library, «», <netzlinien>, april 27.