the stimulus progression

In 2004, AUDC presented the Stimulus Progression, a project exploring the creation of a culture of horizontality by General George Owen Squier, the Muzak Corporation, aviation, and modern telecommunications.

Our exhibit was part of the Gardenlab Experiment, a show by Fritz Haeg and Francois Perrin held within the former Southern California Cooperative Wind Tunnel now part of the Art Center College of Design.

The location recalls that Squier’s invention of both multiplexy—the ability to transmit more than one signal over a wire and the basic foundation of modern telecommunications—and Muzak, the canned music that manipulated our emotions while masking background sounds, took place in the context of aviation. While serving as the Chief Signal Officer of the Army Signal Corps Squier became interested in the experiments of the Wright brothers. After riding as the first passenger in an airplane in 1908, Squier set up the Air Service, a forerunner of today’s Air Force.

The Stimulus Progression is an investigation into how these forces link together to reshape our environment. Beginning from these sources, AUDC constructed an interactive installation composed of models, drawings, new media and sound installations to cultivate an ecosystem of media exploring Squier’s life, how Muzak shaped our environment, and the role of modern technology.