I Does DAT

The Official Project Abstract
May 10, 2007, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Major Project

Research and evolving technology are allowing a new breed of sound design to develop. This involves sounds, both within and beyond the range of human auditory perception, that can affect our physiology.

Below the range is infrasound, a type of sound we cannot hear, but feel. It can be found in many situations such as seismic activity, running engines, and even some animal noises, and is being researched for such applications as non-lethal military and policing weapons. Infrasound is known to cause physiological effects including dizziness, tension, nausea and even hallucinations. In some cases, it has been attributed as the cause of the uneasiness experienced in supposedly haunted locations.

Sounds within our hearing range can also have an effect on the human physiology. There have been reports that sounds between 20Hz and 140Hz can aid bone growth and the healing of fractures and it has been suggested that cats purr primarily for this reason (their purr resonates at 25Hz or 50Hz and occurs when they are injured or close to death).

It is also claimed that binaural beats, which occur when either ear is presented with slightly differing frequencies, can synchronise brainwaves, inducing a state of apparent intoxication without the damaging chemical effects of drugs. These are already being used recreationally and are potentially a useful tool in drug rehabilitation.

This auditory experience shows the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of these developing techniques, using pre-existing sounds from each field of research. It allows you to explore an interactive soundscape of noises that will become integrated into the soundscape of our society as the technology improves and sound design becomes reintegrated with visual design at a level that hasn’t been commonplace since the Industrial Revolution.


Path Trails – Final Video
March 26, 2007, 3:16 am
Filed under: Production of Space

This video is a response to the module regarding the Production of Space. It traces the paths of shoppers in the Drake Circus centre in Plymouth, UK in an attempt to visualise the directional choices we make and show how they are affected by what we consider to be our ‘personal space’.

The slow motion aesthetic is based on the work of Canadian video artist Bill Viola and was created using DynaPel’s ‘Slow Motion’.

March 6, 2007, 11:35 am
Filed under: Major Project

Instead of speakers I’m going to use headphones in the experience to make it more immersive as there will be no outside noise. The best way to do this will be to use wireless headphones (something like this – not sure if bluetooth is the best technology to use though). The ones on the market come with their own dedicated transmitter and I don’t have the money to buy or the expertise to create a load of extra transmitters so I will have to control the sounds from one central source and use sensors to detect the location of the person in the room. I will look into what kind of sensors but I assume either motion or pressure pads on the floor. Motion would be better really as I want the floor to feel normal, infra-red beams could work but I’d ideally like the room to be divided into segments. If possible I’d even like to have these segments overlap so that as you move between them the sounds overlap. I think this is completely possible to do in software, most likely MAX/MSP. So the application is going to be more integral than I thought but that’s fine and should actually make the whole thing a bit smoother, I just need to develop it further.

I also like the idea of the room being dark. This should make the ‘user’ concentrate more on the sound and not be affected by what they see. I’ll need to make the room injury-proof though.

Project Update
February 16, 2007, 2:12 am
Filed under: Major Project

I’m currently conducting experiments to discover the best environment for my installation and also the sounds which are most effective at provoking a response. The idea now is to set up a room playing sound that alters our behaviour or response in some way. These sounds should be ‘found’ in that they already exist for the purpose of behavioural response and have not been created or doctored by me.

At the moment I’m working with sounds from i-Doser to see if I can vaguely control a person’s movement through the space by altering their mood. Of course, these sounds are intended to be heard in complete isolation for a certain amount of time – 15 minutes, for instance – but I’m interested in discovering whether people will tend towards the more positive sounds or not and using this evidence to design my final piece.

Interactive Jam Machine
January 18, 2007, 4:58 pm
Filed under: Sound Practice

For the main sound project I intend to make an interactive jam machine. It should beat match and pitch match incoming sound (via microphone or instrument) and generate other parts of a song, allowing one musician to create a full band performance using just one instrument.

I will be making this using Pure Data.

One Man Band

Jeff Wall
December 5, 2006, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Production of Space

One thing that interests me in my ‘what is personal space?’ project is paths obviously created against those set out. These are everywhere; one that particularly got me thinking about it was in the Rodin Museum gardens in Paris where the laid out path went all the way around the outside of a sparse hedge and past the toilets to get to a statue, but plenty of people had obviously decided to take a short-cut through the hedge and it had come to resemble a path itself. A local example is in town next to The Good Companion. It simply cuts a corner and has become a well-used footpath.

I think this picture by photographer Jeff Wall demonstrates this abnormal human-creation of paths quite nicely:

Jeff Wall's Crooked Path

Some space notes
December 5, 2006, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Production of Space

Some notes I made on my space project the other day, just for reference:

1st step – long open shutter photography of people in a normal busy open space – mall? university?

2nd step – sheepdog trials. can people be ‘herded’ using subtle personal space violation? capture on video/more photography. do the paths change?


personal space studies
path creation – natural/abnormal
jeff wall – crooked path
photo from rodin museum
photo of path by voodoo/maplin

herding and dispersal

2 experiments:
1. can people be herded in a public area using personal space violation?
2. how do people disperse when personal space is violated?
objective: ‘what is personal space?’