Monday, November 16, 2009

The Final Product

How to exhibit?

I am thinking of creating an interactive table much like the example below but rather than using little view finders playing on the idea of a paper cup on a piece of string.

Sound Files

I have collected the sounds from four dominant points off of the girls mental maps. They are the girls home, the supermarket, the travelling route and the university. On listening to the different sound files I hope that other people will be able to comprehend where the sounds were recorded in the city by comparing them to their own mental maps.

Here I have posted the sounds, see what you think? Where do they take you?

In the home example you can hear faint music, a television, girls voices, a kettle boiling, a tap running...

In the supermarket example you can hear the constant beep beep beep of items being scanned...

In the travelling example you can hear cars driving past and traffic lights informing the girls when to cross...

In the university example you can hear lots of voices in discussion, lockers being shut, keys being typed...

At first I was a bit disappointed by the sound quality of my outdoor travelling files as the wind was incredibly strong each day I recorded and can be heard quite clearly drowning out other lesser noises.

Yet even though the sound is less clear it gives a better reading into the actual qualities that the girls were experiencing whilst travelling along their mental maps, it speaks of what the particular day was like, weather conditions and all.
After collecting the data I traced out the girls footsteps using illustrator. Each girl had a different colour and all the lines were drawn with a slight opacity so that the build up of any certain routine was able to be clearly read. From this activity it was obvious that the five girls have rather set routines which they rarely differed from and though all the girls had slightly different mental maps they still seemed to cross paths at a few of the same places quite often. It is these dominant points where all the girls mental maps meet which I now want to explore the sound qualities of.

Collecting Data

I have decided to trace the footsteps of five girls living under one roof to see how small (or potentially large) their mental maps are. I have made them little packages which include a set of instructions and a map for each day folded down to pocket size. On each day I ask the girls a different question relating to sound, by doing so I hope to get them more involved in the data collecting process and to ask them to consider more closely their sound surroundings.

The kinds of questions I ask them are...

What did you hear when you woke up today?

What did you hear whilst travelling today?

What did you hear whilst working today?

What did you hear when relaxing? (and are you relaxing!)

What noises were you startled by?

What did you overhear?

What did you hear when you went to sleep today?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Visit to the Barbershop

Listen to the following video, where do you go?
Sound has the ability to take us to a virtual 'place'.

My Mapping Project: Routes, routines and what we hear...

I want to map the paths of individuals to see the dominant routes they take through Auckland. In doing so I hope to see how limited our mental maps are.

I want my mapping project to consider how our individual understanding of our city has become a routine. By doing so I want to provoke us to consider how we might like to break away from this routine and in turn discover new things and even better routes.

I do not want to just map the routes taken by individuals, I want to go beyond the visible to the invisible aspects of our contemporary city. In order to do so I would like to include sound as a sensory element.

Whilst making the journey home from university the other day, taking what is certainly my dominant route through the city, my mental map, I considered the importance of sound in placing and locating ourselves. Sound is an invisible, often forgotten and neglected aspect of our contemporary city. Yet sound can tell someone much about our personal geography, sound has the ability to give a sense of time, space and place.

Consider if the visual component of a person’s route is removed but the sound remains, what story does the sound tell us? Can we tell what time it is? Are we inside or outside? How many people surround us?

By mapping the paths of individuals using audio I hope to discover if certain routes of our contemporary city are able to be distinguished by sound. I wonder if rather than locating ourselves by using the tangible, that is the built world, we are able to find our way by using the intangible, in this case sound.