Step Sequence

Challenge: Nomadic Residency Adventure #2 |

By: Kyle

This is the ideas generated from the Nomadic Noise Residency Adventure #2. Of the areas we were given to explore I chose to explore was the lower level of Union Station.

What I noticed is that there were corridors of speakers overhead that are fairly consistently spaced apart. I heard a crackle from one of the speakers which was repeated through all the speakers in a corridor because the line in was mirrored. As you pass through the corridor, you inevitably experience the doppler effect and therefore walk through various points (nodes) of sound. As a result, I thought “What if this can be used for an aesthetic effect? How can this be used not only to create a spatial composition, but can an experience be created by taking advantage of pre-existing architectural infrastructures (various speakers and cameras which are mostly used for communication or surveillance). I picture different frequencies distributed in different corridors to create a larger nexus of sound that can be explored and encourage passage through a structure. I find that sound / music, is often (traditionally) thought of as a linear composition, rather than a network, let alone one that can be experienced in a relative fashion. Even surround sound compositions often expect that the viewer sits “dead center” for optimal experience rather than taking advantage of the spatial setup.

Diagram of "Step Sequence" Lower Union Station

Reality Check:

Obviously, this depends on the limits of the infrastructure, and realistically, most buildings are privately owned with a sole business function in mind. Also, any technological infrastructures are often meant for safety or communication, therefore obstructing these systems disrupts the function of the business. So, this idea in actuality would never work in a place like Unioin Station, because it is a transit point, they want you to move through it, not stop and observe, however, perhaps there is a building that would be willing to lend its infrastructure? I think it is especially important if this were the case, to work with the motives of the building to enhance the experience of its clientele, not in a marketing way, but to enhance users perception of ambience. When creating interactive art, one has to make many assumptions about the behaviour and how to psychologically engage people. When looking at how architecture affects behaviour by modifying peoples pace and flow, I think works can be created by taking advantage of how people are already “interacting” by simply being within a space, and affect this further by making them by engaging and observing their surroundings.

I noticed that there were two main spaces in lower Union. Both had a contrast of pace and architectural function:

1) The corridors that channeled pedestrian flow and routing them to/from the trains.

2) Waiting areas where everyone looked static and bored, which had a fairly ineffective interactive media component…which seemed more like an advertisement than anything.

I think it would be an interesting exercise to design a “user” experience to reduce bordom, in the vein of public activities in the waiting areas and conversely, create some sort of aesthetic experience that takes advantage of the fact of people in transit. I have some ideas but they’re not necessarily sound related so that’s another tangent altogether…

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