Locus Sonus Symposium #8, Aix en Provence, France, April 16th, 17th, 18th 2014
Locus Sonus Symposiums
From the outset in 2005 Locus Sonus Symposiums have maintained an exceptionally high standard in both artistic and scientific content. Deliberately restrained in regards to the number of participants they have succeeded, for each edition, in uniting international experts and generating lively discussion around a specific question or topic. The Locus Sonus Symposiums are organized in partnership with the Aix-Marseille University (AMU)’s sociology lab LAMES and regularly include collaborations with research groups such as IMéRA, CRESSON, CRiSAP UAL, SARC Queen’s University Belfast, SAIC Chicago, Laval’s University Quebec to mention just a few.
The fact that computers have become truly portable (smart phones) while being powerful enough to perform complex calculations in real-time is a very recent phenomenon. If a system capable of generating and capturing audio can share a user’s mobility, is the status of that audio changed? Can there be new forms of audio art that result from mobility?
We propose to consider mobile audio-technology from two points of view. These can be assimilated to maps and sounding. In the case of maps, we project space and trajectory through schematic representation while in the case of sounding, we activate the environment around us and in so doing collect information about it through feedback.
A traditional way of considering these two approaches to audio mobility might be that of experiencing audio phenomena we encounter as we cross a landscape (insect sounds, running water, or a noisy bar and the sound of traffic) versus hearing the ever changing sound of our own footsteps as they encounter different surfaces (gravel, leaves or a polished floor) and activate different resonant spaces or reflective surfaces (an empty hall, a carpeted room, a forest or a cliff face).
In terms of audio technology these two poles are epitomized by Locative Media on the one hand and sensor based computing on the other.In reality, the line we can draw between these two models is not so clear-cut: radar, a sounding-technology, is used to make projections or charts and we can ping the network from our laptops to see if we are present (as a node on the network) and hybridization of these approaches might offer considerable creative possibilities. However, we consider these two poles as significant in this research into an art of audio mobility.
Mobile audio-device listening (ipods, smartphones) can be considered negatively since they tend to isolate the user from his or her naturally occurring sound environment. They can also be considered positively, as a way of recuperating for the user, an otherwise unpleasant sound space (when travelling in a saturated urban environment for example). Our hypothesis is that by incorporating information emanating from the environment itself, either through sensing or through localisation, the negative aspects of mobile listening might be reduced and the positive aspects augmented.
Extended Submission Deadline: January 6th 2014