If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, what does it sound like? Well, if you're artists Bartholomäus Traubeck, you just slam the trunk on a record player to find out.
Bartholomäus' artwork Years is a converted record player that can play cross-sectional slices taken from a tree trunk just like LPs. OK, so it's more interpretation than anything else, because the player takes in data from a PlayStation Eye Camera and a stepper motor attached to the control arm, and passes it to a PC. That data then goes straight to Ableton Live, where it's used to generate a haunting piano track.
Interpretation it may be, but it still varies according to the piece of wood that's placed on the turntable. What's more, I really like it: it sounds like something straight out of a horror movie. It's also about as close to an answer to that old philosophical riddle as we're ever going to get. [Bartholomäus Traubeck via Creative Applications via Make]