buy auri

A sum of 1.00 is paid to people in exchange for listening to three minutes of sound on a pair of headphones. This value relates to the amount of time it takes to  listen, and the average cost of commercialized music on the web.


The time allotted to listening to sound material creates an intangible product: AURI (the commercial, immaterial, listening time). This is the logic explored through Buy Auri on the streets of São Paulo and New York. The performance plays with the paradox of intangible products, like music, in commercial contexts and the place of perception as a creative experience to be remunerated.

cover CD Fabiana Faleiros

pictures © Fabiana Faleiros


The amount paid is calculated as an average cost of a music sold over the Internet such as iTunes. Thus the cost established average value of $ 1.00 per music heard about 3 minutes.

The first version was available the possibility of participation by the Internet. The participant warned by e-mail your bank account where deposit was made $ 1.50 after confirmation of hearing from the link emailed to.


Lined in flaws that allow digital processing, the music is designed to deal with the limit of the perception that digital provides. The proposal is to operate in frequency ranges that are on the threshold of audibility, low and high frequencies, the compression algorithm MPEG Layer 3 (MP3), handsets and headsets operate. Sonic textures that verge on the inaudible and failings that sound or stop sounding.

Version 2013 - For the performance in Berlin it was created a version of the original sound track called Reticulated Ear (2006). This track was compressed in 64 versions of mp3 format, using various combinations of sample rate between 8~96 KHz and bit rate between 8~320 kbit/s. What is heard throw the headphones is a collage of short excerpts from those 64 different compressed versions.


Definitely the experience of listening to music has undergone many changes with domestic appliances (turntables, radios, etc.) and then with portable devices as Walkman and mobile sound system. The boom of MP3 players, cell phones, iPods and all discussion regarding the purchase, sale and transfer music from the file sharing on the Internet p2p platform - such as Napster, eMule, Soulseek, Kazaa, among others - as well as the decision of record labels to sell music over the network reveal a radical transformation of what is sold today through portable audio equipment.


Buy Auri was created in 2005-6 during the height of the informal trade of mp3s, sold on CDs, on the streets of Brazil. This approach represents a parallel of the ways of sharing and distributing music over the Internet. The performance combines two common phenomena found on Brazilian streets and squares:  advertising by gold traders who use placards with the words: "Compro Ouro" (Buy Gold) and the selling of CD's by street vendors.

BUY AURI displaces trade issues in web music featuring the “Auri” as a consumer product to be sold in the urban space as a reference to the informal market in the figure of a street vendor (camelô) in the Brazilian context. If the music business has changed radically, it seems to happen with the meaning it has to listen to music. Why buy music if you can get them for free? What is the meaning of paying for music listening?

The music here is placed as a complex field that involves the trading model intangible property and any system of law and market intellectual property environment. Music as a place to also think the market chain, the place of the listener as co-creator, the collective sense and the common value as opposed to capital gain.

Thinking about the diversity and quantity of sound media available today, listening is under a incessant sate of consumption. What the mobile gadgets transmit is not just music, but a listening behavior, often in a bubble, where it is not important what you are listening to but the consumption of listening. In this context, hearing is a productive act, these products generating a virtual congestion in the market. BUY AURI tries to deal with some of these aspects that relate to listening and related strategies to a perception economy.

NY Jul 2012  © Matthew Cianfrani

Berlin Jul 2013 © mutesouvenir/kb

Sao Paulo 2007 © Rafael Adaime

Berlin Jul 2013 © Puig/Campesato/Iazzetta

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Festival Relevante Musik - Belin - 2013  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Union Square NY 2012  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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+ Sao Paulo - Av. Paulista event Respública, Nov. 2006.
+ Sao Paulo - SESC Pompeia event Música Livre , Sep. 2007.

+ New York - 319 Scholes / Union Square, July 2012.

+ Berlin - Relevante Musik / Villa Elizzabeth, July 2013.