Datacode Depicts the Mind-Bending Journey of an AI in New Audio-Visual Release

'Wraithmachine' is a 35-minute cyberpunk operetta.

Earlier this month, MethLab released Wraithmachine, a seven-part audio-visual release from Italian artist Datacode.

Described by the artist as a "cyberpunk operetta," Wraithmachine depicts the poignant story of a conscious entity that encounters a glitch error code that leads it to discover independent thought and self-awareness, which evidently leads to the entity wanting to escape its mahine confines.

In the creation of the project, Datacode used circuit-bent handcrafted devices, which were also used for the visceral experience of the Wraithmachine live show. This approach to sound design and instrumentation, along with the "glitch" that the entity first encounters, is central to the project, as Datacode explained when speaking to Vice's Creators:

"The sound design in this project is everything. New sounds, new images or soundscapes, almost every sound recorded by scrap equipment is filtered, processed and reproduced sometimes even in a random way to always keep the 'glitch' factor (the choice of the machine)."

The full 35 minute AV feature of Wraithmachine is available exclusively on the physical USB—which, evidently, sold out within hours—or can be enjoyed in a live context as part of the MethLab AV tour. Outside of the main feature piece, MethLab and Datacode commissioned reworks from a collection of forward-thinking artists, with each track receiving a video clip reworked from the original visuals—although, for the remixes, the narrative is non-existent.

In support of the release, Datacode and MethLab have passed over part one of the full feature and two of the reworks to stream in full via the players below. You can find out more on the release and purchase the digital files here.

Datacode - Wraithmachine Chapter 1 (of 7) - ORIGIN (MethLab Recordings) from MethLab on Vimeo.

Datacode - Wraithmachine (Roelfuncken Rework) from MethLab on Vimeo.

Datacode - Wraithmachine (Stromhaul Rework) from MethLab on Vimeo.