Process: circuit bending smoke detectors for Alert Fatigue, a new work installed for the 2013 Long Beach SoundWalk. Eight smoke detectors hacked to within an inch of their lives, resulting in the sounds of a circuit dying. Gasping. Twitching on the edge of functionality.
-n 1. a noisy confused place or situation.
Initial prototype of a new Mr & Mrs Formalplay collaboration.
Senate Bill 841, 111th Congress:
The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010
To increase pedestrian safety, silent vehicles are required to make noise at low speeds.
I was fortunate enough to be selected as part of the Leap Motion pre-release developer program. I got a developer board in the mail last week and this is my first experiment with it.
It’s an exploration of the Leap Motion interface as instrument. I’m interested in investigating the characteristics unique to the device as apposed to using the device to replicate or emulate other instrument interactions (the obvious exception being the Theremin).
Leap Motion Dev Board v06.5
Built using OpenFrameworks.
This is an important distinction for me.
There’s a lot of language about “hunting” in reference to field recording and capturing of sound. Even there, the use of the word “capture” leaves one with the sense that sounds are elusive and difficult to attain – which is true. Anyone who has spent time waiting for a sound to record can attest to the evasive sensed during the act of waiting, listening and anticipating. Even the naming of the shotgun microphone makes reference to the language of hunting and capture. The issue that I have with the idea of hunting lies in the result of the act. The act of hunting results in leaving something else fundamentally changed. In the case of animal, it is dead. Hunting is the act that leads to killed. (This is of course unless you grew where I did and hunting simply translates to drinking cheap beer in the woods. But let’s assume actual hunting.) Other things besides simply the capture of something are at play in the use of hunting language in field recording. There is the planning and preparation. The gear needs to be prepped and organized. The locations need to be scouted, mapped and selected in the hopes of best results. The timing needs to be just right to increase your chances of success. This means time of day and time of year but it also refers to the fact that enough time needs to be allotted for the task at hand. It is an act of patience, of waiting, and of anticipation. These are phases of the process that build up to the final act of collection.
The reference to hunting, stalking and tracking of sound is definitely accurate but there is another way to think about this activity. A relationship can also be drawn to search itself. A quest guided by insight, information and inspiration that leads to the investigation of a soundscape for what it has to offer. It still requires planning and preparation. The process most definitely involves patience and awareness. Instead of language about leaving something fundamentally changed that results from a hunted object, foraging provides the sense that it’s there for collection if it happens to be the thing that you are looking for. Foraging is about the search, the investigation. The open awareness to the surroundings in a connected and knowledgeable way that leads to the collection of material for later use. Like foraging for the ingredients of a soup. There for anyone with access to attain. Foraging provides a method of observation and collection with language that resides in the experiential knowledge of context and growth as apposed to the occupational or invasive violence associate with the climax of the final kill or capture. Noise foraging is the act of collecting otherwise unwanted sounds from the urban soundscape. What is traditionally blocked or ignored is instead scooped up for inclusion in different forms.
Listening to the broadcasts of the unwanted that stem from the desirable.
All content ©2014 Alex Braidwood unless otherwise stated.
- mysterious hum
- sonic fiction