Audio Library of a Viewable World

by John-Robin Bold

YouTube’s Audio Library is an archive of 4000 sound effects for anyone to use in their videos since 2014. Millions of people have heard these sounds repeatedly without knowing about their origin. The sound samples are ordered into 20 alphabetic categories - Alarms, Ambiences, Animals, Cartoon, Crowds, Doors, Emergency, Foley, Horror, Household, Human voices, Impacts, Office, Science Fiction, Sport, Tools, Transport, Water, Weapons, Weather.

These categories can be interpreted as an unintended taxonomy of YouTube’s overall soundscape, as they define the types of sounds which are deemed useful for content creators.

Each video of this project is based on one of these 20 categories, using its samples as exclusive, largely unmodified sonic material. Many of these videos make creative use of YouTube functions like subtitles, live streams, keyboard shortcuts and others. It can be understood as an intuitively interactive work.

Read Bold's article about his web art on our blog.

John-Robin Bold

John-Robin Bold (born in 1995 in Hamburg, Germany) is an immaterial artist working with electronic music, internet and installation art.
He performs and releases his music under labels like Mille Plateaux, creates website-specific art and exhibits work internationally from Manchester, UK.

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