I started crafting the enclosures of different sizes in order to prototype how they will feel when one holds or pushes them. This is something I will user test. To add wheighy and stabity i am using plaster and cement. I may use those materials to make full enclosures for small iterations as well.
Using giphycam to make gifs of the process. Shredding bills and discarded paper at ITP.
More about the speske-looking object. This is an accelerometer to synth modulator im a P5js editor (using Tone.js) in a browser on an android phone. It can be placed inside an enclosure to create an sonified kinetic sculpture.
I've been interested in using sound as a material for about two years now and at Itp I am able to learn how to do this. The movement of the object is effected by the shake and the sound is also "sculpted" - modulated - by the physical shape of the object as well as by the movement of the object. In this way the three qualities - shape, movent, and sound are interconnected. I also try to craft sounds that might complement the aesthetic of the object.
I started creating sound sculptures last semester. I'm doing this because I'd like to take the interaction of of the screen and explore tangible interactive experience. Sound is, in my opinion, one of the richest materials to use as feedback because it's it absract yet accessible to most people. We are naturally inclined to listen to music, for example. We perceive the nuances in the vast variety of sound available to us, which can create a myriad of moods. There is emotion in sound that is often hard to convey using sculpture. Sculpture on the other hand is something that can one can be next to - it's visual and tangible. There is a permanence to it that I find valuable in staying focused on an experince. One can be in the presence of an object and it can be meditative to hold it and focus on it. Sounds can complement this meditative experience. Sounds are fleeting but instruments remain. The sound, in a way, is captured by the object, like a genie in a lamp.
To give the experience dimention and give the objects agency my goal is the add code (perhaps through randomness and through the time function of Tone.js) that makes the "instruments'" behavior impossible to predict with certainty yet also intuitive. Certain variables will be easily discoverable while others will change over time so that people who engage with the system of instruments cannot fully impose their will on this system. In a way these dialogic interactions are simulating what many of us would like to see more of in the world - more cooperation with nature is just one example. Another example is literally creating better relationships between object and people (the opposite of Alexa :) ) I found out from Marina that people have been interested in this already- Actor Network Theory. I'm glad there is a language for what I'm trying to do and the are already many conversations about it. Turns out my mom knows about this too! I told her about giving agency to objects and she said "yes I've read about this. It's become popular recently!" So that's funny because she's retired and I had no idea she was so much more with it that I was. She finally understands now why I'm doing these things. Putting in in context of the movement helps people understand the idea behind this project so that's going to help with thesis as I plan to continue exploring various tangible and sonic interactions with an emphasis on subverting traditional human to object (which can also stand for human to nature, human to other species, human to other human even) relationships.
Another way to look at it is if I'm going to build a set of instruments that are meant to be meditative objects, I don't want them to be servile, predictable, and boring. I would like then to change over time and surprise me every time I use them. I'd like to create a sense of wonder that comes with using an instrument for the first time out discovering something new. I think it will be stimulating and encourage creative thinking ad perhaps even self refection after certain types of interactions. what does it mean to you and how do you feel when a series of instruments change how they play in response to a certain way that you activate them? Things like that. I hope I am able to convey all of this when I make more of these and perhaps I will be able to convey more as language is so limited.
Another way of saying this is that if you just record the same sound and keep pressing play it feels like you've captured the sound and it has to play the same way every time according to your whim. it's the end of the game. Feels a little fascist :) and not as much fun as cooperating with the instruments that allow you - if you listen and pay attention to how they choose to work - to create ever-changing, sonic experiments.