Ringing the Changes is a 2020 book from Counterpath Press, published as part of the Using Electricity series edited by Nick Montfort. It was produced from code that draws on the ancient art of tower-bell ringing. Ordinary folk in 17th century England rang every permutation on 7 bells in patterns subject to the physical constraints of bell weight and momentum. Watch contemporary ringers.
The bells "sound" language sampled from writers who explore intertwined real and virtual worlds from 7 different perspectives. Each bell is randomly assigned one of its own set of 23 sampled texts in an ever-varying context as the peal proceeds.
Each bell in Liberty Ring!, a toy interactive companion to Ringing the Changes, has its own set of 11 texts. These are sampled from, or based on, Achille Mbembe, Benjamin Franklin, Carolee Schneemann, Emily Apter, Frederick Douglass, Geert Lovink, Hans Baumann and Karen Pinkus, Herman Melville, Joan Retallack, Keller Easterling, Ricardo Dominguez, Robin Kelsey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Shu Lea Chang, Stephanie LeMenager, and The Framers.
Click the bell to advance the peal.
Peals begin and end with rounds, the bells rung in descending order of pitch (1,2,3,4,5,6,7). They sound the Scientific Triples peal, in Liberty Ring!—and in the much fuller, computer-generated text Ringing the Changes.
Reloading the page resets the order of changes back to rounds.