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Description by Leo Caobelli, translated from Portuguese and re-edited by Egle Saka

Ancestral Noise

I switched on an old TV I'd received. The button clicked with a slight resistance, followed by a continuous hiss, or "white noise." That static sound, a constant companion, serves as a perfect gauge for audio checks on stage and, ironically, is used to soothe babies, mimicking another ancestral sound—the mother's womb.

The picture appears after a delay as the tube warms up. On the 17-inch screen, noise, drizzle, and black-and-white dots oscillate, intensifying or fading as I adjust brightness and contrast. Tuning or adjusting the VHF/UHF antennas captures only radio waves. Amidst the visual static, traces of AM transmission linger, guiding the dots' movements as they echo the received signal.

My initial instinct was to try tuning an AV channel on the TV, but no external input was available. The built-in antennas were the only image receptors. Now, the screen no longer displayed my crafted images, instead offering a sea of dynamic noise. I observed, uncertain about what was happening or for how long. Experimenting with controls birthed new forms of noise, evolving into fresh patterns. I was absorbed in this passive, yet profound, visual exploration. That nostalgic filter often mimicking this noise in digital files had manifested itself in black-and-white on a CRT screen.

Driven to learn more about analog waves and the distant radio signals, I stumbled upon an intriguing revelation. Only 1% of the visual noise captured on the TV represented the glow of light blanketing our universe, an ancient cosmic radiation dating back over 14 billion years. This light, a relic from the universe's infancy, predates Earth and our galaxy. Could this be our very own ancestral noise?


Now, this part of the project was really special and close to my own beliefs and inspirations - the subject of analog noise. Both, sonically and visually, analog noise has this hypnotic raw energy that invites you to go down the eerie rabbit hole of the beautiful world of analog. 

And it is precisely this energy, that we call the white noise and static on an old CRT television set. While most television viewers thought nothing of these visible noise particles, it appears to be quite something. 

As we know it now, 1% of the static on the screen comes from the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation and this radiation is a leftover from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.


As my practice primarily evolved into the analog video realm, I of course had to contribute the best way I could - introducing my witchcraft of analog errors.

And so, connecting over our mutual belief in noise, we have created a short experimental film as the main audiovisual piece of this project.

I invite you to take a short trip to the beginning of noise… 


Leo Caobelli: Direction, production, editing, and script.
Egle Saka: Analog Editing and VFX.
Carlos Ferreira: Soundtrack, mixing, and mastering.
Paula Rebellato: Soundtrack.
Fu_k the Zeitgeist: Soundtrack



In year 2022, I had a great opportunity to work on a collaborative project that explored the very roots of noise and delved deep into Hard Drive Archeology.

Leo Caobelli, an obsolete media archivist from Brazil, approached me with an exciting idea to create digital zines made from recovered files, found on 200 obsolete hard drives discarded as scrap at the electronic waste sorting facilities.

These are located in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Lagos, Nigeria, as the usual destinations of technological waste from developed countries.

DISCLAIMER - ALL of the recovered original images you find on their website, have been edited to ensure the anonymity of their owners. If you recognize any images that are your own and you no longer have access to the content of the HD, please contact They will be pleased to return your lost images and memories.

(Photo: Vicente Carcuchinski)


The story of HD archeology and a warning…

The process of HD archeology for Leo began all the way back in 2015. It carried on for years till this day, inviting more and more artists from different disciplines to work with this digital archeological material. Sorting hundreds of gigabytes of mostly damaged data, appeared to be like going through a desert of errors, a ghost land of discarded memories, which was the perfect title for this project. Being a nomad of errors as an artist, I was fascinated with this concept and was thrilled to connect with new fellow collectors of noise artifacts. 

The story that Leo told me was this:

“At the beginning of 2022, I was uploading the database of the recovered hard drives to the cloud, so that the participating artist could access the files in order to modify them in their artistic practices and create digital zines that you see on the website now. During this process, Google Drive accused me of attempting to upload and spread viruses with this database.

Ironically, the viruses detected by the great Artificial Intelligence were just corrupted photos and glitches in the files - harmless and beautiful. I received a series of notification emails, 60 of the one million files I uploaded to the cloud have been identified as a potentially hazardous material. As a consequence, sometime later, I was permanently disconnected and was left without the right to access my Google account that I have been using for 17 years. All emails were gone, google drive folders, photos… everything was deleted as it was assumed to be also dangerous.

Now of course, since I’m familiar with errors of such, I have the habit of keeping regular backups. I was able to acces my safe files from personal hard drives. However, I was left surprised by the abrupt form of disconnection in relation to the strong current belief that the cloud saves everything that you upload better than the obsolete hard drives.”

After this experience with the trusted cloud-based service he wrote the following manifesto:

“Preliminary to the oracle instructions

Anyone who buys a hard drive expects to be buying storage space. Little do they know that they’re actually buying time. Perhaps, they are buying the new hard drive to replace the one that just became obsolete. One thing to know about this new device: like every technological device made for mass consumption, it comes pre-loaded with a necessary factory setting: Fail-Safe Clock Monitor (or FSCM). The thing is, this important setting will inevitably be damaged, lost, and gone in time. With it, you will lose your photos of birthdays, vacations, and parties. You will also lose your income tax return and your master's dissertation. Most of these files will eventually be gone because they are subject to data bias [an error in machine learning]. And so, the valuable data will disappear in the fog, in the cloud, in the digital ether, where you merely buy time in space.

However, there is something liberating when it comes to the lifespan of data if you only embrace the inevitable disintegration of digital time.

There is no backup hard drive for dreams.

Keep your files organized and keep on dreaming, as dreams will always stay in the cloud, while data… won’t.

Leo Caobelli, 2022.”



Here are some samples from my digital zine called LIMINAL SPACES . On the website here, it is accompanied by a gorgeous ambient soundtrack by Carlos Ferreira, make sure to tune in while traveling through the liminal space.

You may further explore all 10 of the deserts here > [zines]

(P. S. Best viewed in your computer’s browser window. For translation to English, click on ‘Translate’ on the right of the address bar at the top of your browser)