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is a facilitator for interactivity between different visitors by detecting their movements and interpreting it through audio output.

Human kind is inherently a social creature. Throughout the millennia of our existence, individuals have always banded together in order to survive and create environments that would be impossible without the collective effort. With the advent of the digital age, this social instinct has become mediated by the cyber-world where social media has taken over and redefined how we communicate with each other.

This experience however creates a disconnect from the environment surrounding the user and by extension, other beings around him/her. The majority of the user's senses slowly become inert essentially rendering the individual a living vegetable subservient to the information given to them by the digital media. Is this the future of humanity?

What if we could turn this around? What if the digital media could be used as a medium to bridge the current gap between strangers in a fun and active way that would invoke all the senses and reawaken their base social instincts? Where as a direct reflection of human social behaviour, options of what can be done exponentially increases according to the number of people involved. Thus emphasising the point of a collective achievement.

One aspect which digital simulation currently relies heavily upon is the sense of sight. Highly realistic renderings are able to trick the viewer into believing that what they are seeing is a picture of a real place. It is even possible to enhance the image through computer programs to create a surreal image, one needs only to look at fashion magazines for such proof. That being said, the use of sound in the same context has mostly been used for background ambient purposes and is disconnected with the realism of the simulation. What would happen if realistic sounds within the simulation could be implemented to create a more complete sensorial experience? How could sound be stimulated by the movements and reactions of the virtual occupants to heighten the virtual experience? And finally, how could the resultant audio be used as a means to bring about cooperative behaviour in visitors through harmonious interaction.

With these questions in mind, this installation serves as a means to investigate how sound can enhance a space by allowing visitors to control the virtual environment through the manipulation of tones in order to create varying affects within the space and its effects on the collective.


While there are an innumerable amount of possible real life scenarios that could be selected in order to simulate through audio, it was important to settle on one that could be simpler to combine as a whole. During the concept stages of the project, it was decided that a series of musical tones would best serve the experiment due to the ease at which different tones could be combined into chords and therefore compositions.

The existing composition is divided into several inherently different components each with their own set of identical controls. Visitors would then easily be able to change these controls through body movement, resulting in an ever changing composition. While multiple users could technically change their corresponding number of components to affect the composition, it is the activation of additional dormant controls that will truly improve the overall audio result. These higher level controls can only be active when the 2 or more users come into close proximity to each other thus forming a collective that has to work together in order to achieve a desired result. Just as in a band, each user will have to listen to the movements of his/her partner and vise versa.


A critical but often overlooked virtual simulation not used by designers is the use of sound to create a sense of space. The majority of time spent on renders and animation is focused on visual stimuli through the use of photo real renderings with great attention to lighting and object detail. As a finishing touch, most of these concept pitches include a soundtrack in order to convey a desired effect. This is of course not a realistic portrayal of how the space might truly feel once it is actually constructed and put to use.

Audio input is in many ways just as if not more important than ocular input. Sound gives us a 3-dimensional sense of space that is in many ways more 'real' due to its inherent role in giving us a sense of balance and by extension the ability to move through space. The size of a given space can also be determined through the use of an echo, giving inhabitants a good sense of the volume of the space. While it can be argued that the sense of sight is the primary agent used in this case, a forced perspective can trick the eye into seeing something that is not as it seems.

With digital simulation taking center stage as an essential means of conveying a proposal and with the advent of computer assisted virtual environments (CAVE), audio simulations are poised to take a critical part of making a virtual space more believable.


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With the support of the Culture Programme of the EU.
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