Weather Tunnel Project | Spring 2011
Parsons New School of Design | Tsinghua University | National Art Museum of China
Professor: Benjamin Bacon
Environments are organic self-containing units that constitute of the individuals within. The individual can alter and shape the environment, while at the same time, the environment influences and molds the individual and his/her perception. In this endless cycle of impact, the boundaries between the two are obscured: the individual begins to acquire, not only psychological, but also “physical” characteristics that resemble characteristics of their surrounding environment, and vice versa. Rather than two separate parts of a system, the aforesaid duo merges into a whole, much like a single organic cell. An especially good example of this would be the relationship between cities and their residents. We are able to discern the differences between a New Yorker and a Texan, someone from Beijing and someone from Shanghai, not only by the difference in language, but also by gestures, physical appearance, general personality traits, etc. These at times subtle distinctions are not only a result of cultural activity, but are also a product of physical environmental influences. It is easy to imagine how cultural shifts can impact our lives,but to imagine how we are connected to changes in our physical world (at times so slight that we are unable to detect) is another question. In this project, we hope to emphasize on this connection between our environment and ourselves through the use of sound.
General description of project
@#$%^… is devised as an interactive sound experimentation that aims to bring urban environmental issues into focus by making abstract data more perceivable to audiences through means of data sonification. In this project, we will utilize the environmental data collected by sensors in various cities throughout the world, and map this information accordingly onto ambient city noises recorded in said cities. The composited audio alterations will be displayed during the exhibition in real-time through the form of a sound installation.
We plan to use hard silicon material to create a shell. Within this shell, will be multiple stereos, each surrounded by six mechanical claws. The entire installation will be filled with soft silicon that will immerce the stereos. The altered sound of cities will be broadcasted through these stereos, but at the same time, be muffled by the silicon. The mechanical claws will open and close according to the sound that each stereo is transfering, and in doing so, attempt to open up the soft silicon material to allow the sound to travel more clearly. But with each attempt, the silicon will always flow back slowly, covering up the stereo once more. Audiences will be provided with stethoscopes to probe into the audio environment of the installation and listen to sounds of cities that are entrapped within.
Li Tian received his BFA in New Media Art & Design at Renmin University. He is currently at the Information Art and Design program at Tsinghua University where he is studying inter-disciplinary studies in Engineering at the Department of Computer Science and Technology. He is a participant in the National 863 Research Projects, focusing on Critical Technologies and Prototyping Within Large-scale Multi-user Interactive Desktops. His work has been shown in various international exhibitions and events, and his research has been published in the International Conference in Computer Science selection numerous times.
Guo Haoyun is a media artist born in the 80s. His mother’s influence pointed him in the direction of art. He went to study interactive art in Singapore on a national scholarship. Since returning to China, he has been committed to pushing forward the development of new media art and design in china with fruitful results. He also has considerable experience in curation. He follows the latest developments in social media and science technology. He collaborates with CSR’s and NPO to impact society through community means. He is currently doing research on HCI and data visualization at the VISPKU(EECS) at PKU.
As a media arts student at Renmin University, China, Nathen Guo is passionate about humanities and has a strong interest in a wide range of audio and visual communications. He is motivated to utilize emerging media technologies: computer graphics, audiovisual, animation, electronic interactive design in his creative work. In 2009, he visited Taiwan as an exchange student to study digital arts, where he carried out comparative research in media arts between Mainland China and Taiwan. The experience had a huge impact on him. He will continue his studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in fall of 2011.