Audio-Graffiti, shared sound and music environment, explores new modes of interaction with sound and space. Intelligent phone users can tag sounds recorded with their devices and pin them to locations in their environment, whether interior or exterior. This graffiti could include, for example, voice messages, music, etc. The user moves through the tagged space and experiences the changing sounds or a mix of the environmental graffiti.
In addition to hearing the graffiti, a function allows users to create graffiti synchronized to the prevailing rhythm and to musically collaborate. The audio graffiti in the space combines to form a dynamic sonic landscape that fades out slowly over time. The environment serves as a frame for this artistic and interpersonal exploration. The unique sonic perspective of each user allows active participation in the sound rendering (mixing and combining of sounds) of audio graffiti found in their path.
Audio-Graffiti is constructed on the infrastructure of mobile social networks, the technologies of geolocalization (GPS, Google Earth, etc), and the audio rendering techniques of augmented reality applications. It was conveived by a partnership between Zack Settel and Mike Wozniewski at the Centre For Intelligent Machines at the University of McGill around the creation of the game Sound Park, in which mobile players search for hidden sounds in a park in downtown Montreal.
As is often the case with advanced social media techniques, the most significant innovations emerge from the interactions of participants within the space. The originality of the project
This allows the creation of rich and coherent sonic landscapes, offering a very high level of spatial resolution.
The project opens new applications for social networks and artistic creations that use sound and space for content and mode of transmission. The project allows multiple collaborations between the SAT's artists, notably for projects that enrich the urban experience in le Quartier des Spectacles (Montreal).
Researchers: Art: Zack Settel, Science: Mike Wozniewski
The piece can be deployed in an outdoor environment (using GPS tracking), or in an indoor space as seen in the video below. Equipped with a wireless headset and tracking device, participants can “tag” or “spray” sound onto the wall. We provide several small musical instruments, which can be used along with one’s voice, to add sounds to the collaborative musical mix. The installation is seeded with some pre-existing sonic material, which allows participants to synchronize rhythmically, and maintains cohesion over time. All user-contributed sounds slowly fade away, resulting in an ever-evolving musical piece.
As users moves about, they also experience a changing sonic perspective of the localized sounds, based on their particular location. So users not only create audio content, but they also participate actively in the encounter (remixing) of sonic material. Participants who are waiting their turn in the staging area may watch a real-time 3D visualization of the installation, which shows avatars of each player walking amongst virtual sound sources.
Sound Park video: