Above is a picture from the project “Symphony for Dot-Matrix Printers, done in 1999 by the Montreal based artist group The User and was shown at Ars Electronica the same year. The project involved a dozen dot-matrix printers of all shapes, brands, and sizes creating a a choreographed symphony and performed live (here’s some sound clips). More recently, the Dallas, Texas based Paul Slocum has created the Dot Matrix Synthesizer which is a single printer connected up to a controller that allows people to “perform” the printer in real-time. Another difference is that Slocum’s printer prints images that were pre-programmed into the printer’s EEPROM internal memory. Nice update, but I wonder why he decided to go the image route and not just let the people take home their custom prints after they are played? That said, nice update to an older project.

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