Office of Random Encounters by TheWiredLab published on 2012-10-19T03:38:18Z Commissioned work for "Southern Encounter" (curated by Sarah Last/WIRED LAB) as part of the Regional Arts Australia National Conference - Goolwa, South Australia - October 2012. THE OFFICE OF RANDOM ENCOUNTERS The Steam Ranger line is situated in an area referred to as Encounter Bay. It is named after an encounter in 1802 between Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin, both of whom were charting the Australian coastline for their respective countries (Britain and France). The encounter between the scientists was peaceful, even though their countries were at war at the time. This participatory / sound / radio Installation is an extension of the ʻHaving the Last Wordʼ project and explores the notion of encounter through travel as well as communication [rail / telegraphy] and how these colonial technologies may have impacted on the notion of encounter. This work responds to and uses the language of the existing carriage infrastructure. There are three key aspects to the work: Morse: gathering of encounters from train passengers. Train passengers participate in the creation of an immersive soundscape, through the collection of individual responses around the idea of encounter. This is translated via an exchange with a telegraphist in the baggage compartment. Voice: lines of encounters from the community around the line Passengers will be invited to tune into the recordings from the community beyond the carriage via wires strung across the carriage hand rails – similar to what telegraphists did along the train line in the old days – where they would jump off the train and listen to the lines. In this way we have created a random translation of the morse messages. Residual digital documentation All passengers messages will be translated and tweeted on along the journey. Passengers will also be able to download via Sound Cloud the ﬁnal collated mix of encounters on the wires.