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WORKSHOP DAY 8 – FINAL PROTOTYPE

Re-blogged from Sound Tectonics Blog

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The concept of the final prototype was developed around the matter of collective experience through auditory senses. The goal was to reinforce the user’s empathy and communication with space and inhabitants through emotional canals. Memory was considered to be the key element that could lead to stronger social bonds so as to reactivate the urban space as a place of interaction. Transforming the observer in to a listener and the act of listening in to an active agent of cross-fertilization, we pursuit a feedback that triggers one’s personal experience of collective awareness.

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Working  on  the  metropolitan  city  of  Athens as the  case  study, we  strategically  divided  the  city  in  layers  that  represented different  ambiences  according  to topography, built environment  and  voids, natural  elements  and  inhabitants. The analysis of each area was achived by documentation process recordings, to represent the relationships between site specificity and our final prototype of an artificial interactive environment.

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Through a critical engagement with technology, the Sound Tectonics team created an interactive environment that was build upon the idea of using one’s own experience as the influential agent that ‘organically’ emerges from the navigation of the user within the structure. Five boxes of different sizes were placed in different distances from each other, each representing one of the previously analyzed areas of the city. Their different volumes were reflecting the diverse perception of distances between the sound source and the position of the listener.

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As part of one system created and installed in an indoor space with the absence of light, the interactive environment used controlled light sources as an inviting component that attracts people to enter part of their body in each hollow box structure. Eager to become part of the experience, the visitors were triggering motion sensors that in their part, were turning the lights off to give their turn to reproduced and edited sounds of the city. In this system, light and darkness were reversely related to sound and silence. The chosen sounds were manipulated in order to expose some highlights of our city drift, incorporating the city’s ambient sounds. One’s own experience could affect the listening experience of the rest of the users. This state was noticeable only when all boxes were occupied, through reproduction of an ironic composition of sounds that suggested enforcement power contradicting with sounds of individual joy. A composition that aimed to highlight the political extend of a social gathering that is occasionally considered by police to be a threatening constitution, especially in the so-called, by some,  ’wastelands’ of the urban environment.

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The visitor’s experience was based on their physical presence in space, together with their acoustic experience. In this way we meant to isolate the senses, only to combine them again when they all reach the state of starting to experience a social assembly. Along these lines, laid one of the main notions of the project that is to force the user to re-evaluate his sensory perceptions and understand the social impact that these may have. This chain reaction contributes to the formation of an emotional state, based not only on memories, but on gathering empirical evidence of how we could effectively reconnect with spaces and people around us.

Project Team :

Tutors: Daniel Canogar, Javier Pena Galiano, Jon Goodbun, John Grzinich, Santiago Vilanova, Nota Tsekoura, Nastazia Spyropoulou, Anna Laskari, Tassos Kanelos

Participants: Ioli Belezini, Natalie Barton, Daphne Dimopoulou, Maria Galani, Yoranda Kassanou, Marirena Kladeftira, Konstantinos Kosmas, Dimitrios Mavrokefalos, Dickie Webb

Special thanks to: Konstantinos Souvatzoglou, Marilena Georgatzi, Nileta Kotsikou

Venue: The British Hellenic College -Athens

Raw sounds from Sound Tectonics workshop research could be found at:  sound tectonics soundcloud and at Radio Aporee  maps under the search : sound tectonics

Sample sound from sound tectonics field recordings:

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So this week spent on Sound Tectonics is coming to an end. A week I will not forget, spent with one great team of artists, architects, sound artists, composers, theorists and just generally inspiring people. The week has been focused on discussing the relationship with sound as a material and its relationship and use within the architecture of Athens and beyond.

So today, Sunday 24th November, will see the unveiling of a prototype which encompasses some of the thoughts, skills and discoveries made these past 8 days. If you would like to come and see and meet some of those involved we will be having an opening at 6pm at the British Hellenic College here in Athens.

Please see the photo for more details of the location.

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I am well over half way through my residency here in Athens.  The experience has given me time to reflect and focus not just on the proposed new works I hope to start working on but give me new perspectives on continuing themes within my practice.  The city has given me plenty more new ideas for future works and added to existing ideas, bolstering concerns ongoing.

As I posted recently I attended Urban Lightscapes Symposium which definitely gave me a wake up on certain areas of my practice and again reminded me to consider a wider practice.  This past weekend I started some workshops for the upcoming Sound Tectonics that is happening this coming week.  These workshops introduced both Processing and Arduino which I have used before but allowed me to understand further the benefits of such tools.  The workshops were long but really good and I feel a little more capable with these tools now, even considering future projects using Processing that prior to these I would of tried other methods first.  So I am getting excited for the whole week coming up which should give me new thoughts and ideas as to where I am going with sound within my practice.

The Glitch works I have been working on have started to come together.  I have had to really think before starting these new works of how to order my process.  Considering a language that will allow me to find each sample and know where I found it and where I could use it.  This has meant I have had to label each sample either using a systematic approach of 1-28/A-S or more descriptive BW Slow Fade Whisper Crackles, Silent Double Beeps.  I have attached a test run of a track that I am in the process of putting together based of the image above.  The abandoned airport here in Athens, Ellinikon.  The track uses 12 samples currently of this image mainly Black and White though some colour samples as well.  I have not yet used any effects on these samples so the track is pure Glitch image with only the volume adjusted.  Have a listen and let me know what you think, I will post the track in its next form once I use a bit of artistic license and use effects to manipulate the sounds a little and add some midi samples.

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Having just arrived in Athens it is pretty exciting to see this series of workshops being organised for the middle of November.  Whilst here I have proposed to make glitched sound works sampling RAW data files of photograph spaces.  This series of workshops would be ideal for me to attend as it brings together common themes within my current practice.  It would be an exciting time to learn and meet other creatives working in similar fields and also different areas that I have not yet experienced.

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