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Sound In The City

By jonah

The Tactical Sound Garden is “an open source software platform for cultivating public “sound gardens” within contemporary cities. It draws on the culture of urban community gardening to posit a participatory environment where new spatial practices for social interaction within technologically mediated environments can be explored and evaluated. Addressing the impact of mobile audio devices like the iPod, the project examines gradations of privacy and publicity within contemporary public space.”

Pretty cool way to interject a personal touch onto an often “impersonal” urban landscape. The project’s “Toolkit enables anyone living within dense 802.11 wireless (WiFi) “hot zones” to install a “sound garden” for public use. Using a WiFi enabled mobile device (PDA, laptop, mobile phone), participants “plant” sounds within a positional audio environment. These plantings are mapped onto the coordinates of a physical location by a 3D audio engine common to gaming environments - overlaying a publicly constructed soundscape onto a specific urban space. Wearing headphones connected to a WiFi enabled device, participants drift though virtual sound gardens as they move throughout the city.” Reminds me a bit of a higher-tech version of Christina Kubish’s “Sound Meadow” project shown at Ars Electronica in 1987.

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