About the project
These are sketches and exploratory prototypes of shapes for an interactive sound sculpture installation. The sounds produced will range from unidentifiable to familiar, triggering associations and serving to help people contemplate and observe their relationship to their environment and to other beings. It is meant to be both meditative and playful.
The guts: Arduino microcontrollers, sound sensors, touch sensors, acceleromets, speakers, sd card, sd card reader, and the accompanying suite of necessary components.
Outer shell: The pieces will be plush or cast in cushy foam resin and others will be large full body, encapsulating, cushions.
When the sculptures are touched and moved, the heat sensors and accelerometer will send a signal to a speaker via Arduino.
- The sounds played will vary in intensity in reaction to the frequency of vibrations that result from moving the sculptures or weight changes of the body.
- Secondly, I would like to see if it is possible to also create a way for the movable sculpture pieces to sense one another and react sonically to one another's proximity.
- A third component to the interaction will be the ability of the sculptures to record fragments of the sound around them and play it back between ambient noises, adding to the reflective quality of the experience, acting like a sort of "sound mirror". The sound recorded will highly abstracted and muffled and treated more like noise. Full sentences will not be recorded. There will be a disclaimer text about that in the description of the work.
Inspiration for the project
Inspiration for the sound portion came from meditating and from bopping around "MICRO -double helix-" by an interactive installation/performance group called Purring Tiger lead by Kiori Kawai and Aaron Sherwood.
Inspiration for the visual portion of this project came out of Ernesto Neto's plush, organic sculptures, Yayoi Kusawa's oversized amoeba-like sculpture environments, National Building Museum's Imagination Playground, and Chiaozza's cartoon plant sculptures.
Inspiration for the "faux therapy pet" sound sculpture that accompanies the seat-like sculpture (see sketches) comes from the use of therapy robots in Japan, which I was delighted to interact with at Robotopia Rising exhibit at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Below are two of my favorite pieces by Ernesto Neto, a photo of elderly earthquake-survivors in Japan with robot therapy seals, and a screenshot of people dancing through the spheres in the installation by Purring Tiger.