Over the past few months we have been developing new wearables and improvements to the Rumbler for Sensory Threads, which we successfully tested working together last week. The new wearables are based on Arduino and use XBee for communication, and the Rumbler now has multiple map selection, replay and printing (on the Rumbler’s attached micro-printer) of specific expeditions.
In the coming months we are planning to conduct a series of experimental expeditions through London to test the platform and build up a repertoire of expeditions for the Rumbler to replay. We will also be exploring building more portable versions of the Rumbler to make it easier to present at conferences and festivals.
Sonic Geographies takes sound as the entry point for excavating and mapping urban experience and invisible infrastructures of the city. In 2001-02 Proboscis created a series of maps and journeys that were personal renderings of sonic experience – sounds of the personal world in conversation with sounds of the city.
These mappings attempted to excavate the layers of sound that make up the city and create strata of difference: from the sound of a city’s church bells to the shifting sonic signatures of traffic, music radio and the layers of wireless communications. The excavation was designed to open up a new space of enquiry into the experience of the city, and how sound functions as a kind of infrastructure for understandings of place and geography particular to contemporary conditions in the city.
Team: Alice Angus, Katrina Jungnickel, Brandon LaBelle & Giles Lane
Proboscis is leading a pilot project, Sensory Threads, funded by the CREATOR Research Cluster. The project builds upon our previous collaborations with Birkbeck College’s Pervasive Computing Lab on the Feral Robots and Snout environmental sensing projects and takes wearable sensing into new areas with new collaborations with the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London, the Mixed Reality Lab at University of Nottingham and Southampton University’s School of Management.
Sensory Threads is a work-in-progress to develop an instrument enabling a group of people to create a soundscape reflecting their collaborative experiences in the environment. For this interactive sensory experience, we are designing sensors for detecting environmental phenomena at the periphery of human perception as well as the movement and proximity of the wearers themselves. Possible targets for the sensors may be electro-magnetic radiation, hi/lo sound frequencies, heart rate etc). The sensors’ datastreams will feed into generative audio software, creating a multi-layered and multi-dimensional soundscape feeding back the players’ journey through their environment. Variations in the soundscape reflect changes in the wearers interactions with each other and the environment around them. We aim to premiere the work in 2009.
Team: Alice Angus, Giles Lane, Karen Martin and Orlagh Woods (Proboscis); Demetrios Airantzis, Dr George Roussos and Jenson Taylor (Birkbeck); Joe Marshall (MRL); Dr Nick Bryan-Kinns and Robin Fencott (Queen Mary) and Dr Lorraine Warren (Southampton).
In July 2006 Proboscis organised an open dialogue on Cultures of Listening for Interdependence Day at the Royal Geographic Society. The dialogue took the form of a series of conversations between an invited group of artists, social scientists, teachers, researchers, curators and policymakers at a picnic in Kensington Gardens, just across from the RGS.
Our aim was to use the informal setting of a picnic and our role as hosts to bring together a diverse group and stimulate conversations, rather than hold a more formal debate or discussion. This placed the emphasis of the dialogue on being a culture of listening rather being about one. After an hour and a half of introducing people to each other and connecting conversations, the group came together to reflect on what we had heard and said, followed by more conversation and connections over lunch.
Proboscis commissioned artist Camilla Brueton to create an artwork inspired by the event
Camilla’s Brueton’s commission for the Human Echoes event back in July is now complete and the digital element is available as two podcast files. The work is called The Human Echoes Archive and is a box of fictional and factual materials (drawings, maps, postcards, index cards, audio cd) that mimics the form, materials, structure and tools of archiving to reflect and extend the interconnected conversations of the event.
The Archive adopts a numerical ordering system to collect material relating to the people who were present, issues emerging and questions raised at the Dialogue. Like the informal pockets of conversation which took place at this picnic one can navigate freely between the material in the Archive rummaging, cross referencing and re-ordering or by using the the subject index and footnote references.
The podcast files are an edited version of the article contained in the archive with images of other material from it and, a layered audio piece of fragments of the conversations.