Workshop on Artistic use of Auditory Augmentation at STEIM

19 April 2011

I am happy to announce that I’ll give a workshop on Augmented Auditory Objects at STEIM, “the studio for electro-instrumental music” in Amsterdam on 10 May 2011, 18:30h – 22:30h. Registration is required and available here.

You’ve heard of Augmented Reality, the increasingly popular technology which presents additional information to you about your environment through the use of visual overlays on camera-equipped phones. But our realities are also full of sound, sound that can be digitally augmented to communicate information and create feelings. What kinds of information about our surroundings can be communicated to us by modifying the sounds made by common objects that we interact with? This is the question addressed in the practice of Auditory Augmentation. With a little knowledge of sonification (the practice of turning data, such as the current weather forecast, into sound), researchers have been developing intriguing ways of unobtrusively altering the sounds of our every-day lives to provide information about our environment. How can this research be used to create meaning in an artistic context? How can we change the sounds objects make in order to create subtle feelings and communicate complex ideas? These are the questions we will explore in this workshop.

Topics we will cover include:

  • Theoretical overview of artistic research in tangible auditory interfaces

  • Sonification of natural phenomena and environmental data

  • Auditory augmentation of objects using microphones and sound processing

  • Artistic exploration of these ideas

In the hands-on portion of this workshop you will dive right in to an experimental group session, exploring the formation of an artistic auditory augmentation approach for sonifying environmental data. You will build prototypes, set up an environmental sensor kit, and turn your prototypes into active objects with sound-based augmentations. By the end of the workshop you will come away with a basic framework for auditory augmentation of objects in your own artistic practice, and have a basic understanding of the issues at stake when digitally altering a real-world soundscape.

Augmented Auditory Objects is presented as part of STEIM’s Drive-By workshop series. Short and illuminating hands-on workshops which deal with relevant and eccentric uses of technology intended to teach and inspire artists working with sound (and interaction!).