Audiospace 2011

Audiospace 2011: Exurbia is an online sound editing application/community by commissioned composer David Cecchetto
(Toronto, ON) in collaboration with William Brent (Washington, DC).


Exurbia is a digital sound-editing program where users compose individual sound-works from a shared collection of sound samples. The program has four distinct features:


  • The interface is TIME-INTENSIVE, being predominantly aural and executed in real time.
  • Editing is DESTRUCTIVE (i.e. there is no "undo" feature).
  • All of the source materials (i.e. the sound samples) are SHARED among all users.
  • Each edit on a single user’s computer impacts every instance of a single file throughout the Exurbia COMMUNITY.

Participants use Exurbia's features without the benefit of textual or visual avatars. The program explores the extent to which our conventional conceptions of online communities are visually constructed. 


David Cecchetto is an assistant professor of new media history and criticism at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada, where his research critiques constructions of technological posthumanism. Sound-based readings of media art are often featured prominently in his writing. David received his Interdisciplinary PhD (with a concentration in cultural, social and political thought) from the University of Victoria and, upon receiving his degree, was awarded a 2010 Governor General’s Gold Medal as well as the 2011 CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award. 


William Brent is an assistant professor of audio technology at American University in Washington DC. His creative work encompasses experimental music performance projects and various non-musical undertakings, such as the compilation of conflated idioms presented at []. He holds a PhD in music from UC, San Diego, where he studied in the computer music area with Miller Puckette, F. R. Moore and Shlomo Dubnov. He has also earned Bachelor of Music and Masters of Arts degrees in Composition, studying with Peter Hatch, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran, Chris Brown, and Pauline Oliveros. 


This project was made possible through funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the SOCAN Foundation.