Week #2

Sound Vacation: +-40

Group assignment with: Michal Shoshan, Jackie Chen

Last week, we convened for a fresh brainstorming session, recognizing that our initial idea needed further refinement. We acknowledged the challenge of polishing it within a week. As we embarked on the journey of conceptualizing time, we pondered the central theme we wished to explore.

We wanted to create a time travel experience centered around a specific place, one defined by the ambient sounds that would have surrounded the average human being living around New York across different eras. 

However, the task of gathering credible information about various historical periods for a specific location proved to be quite challenging.

I thought a lot about two of my favorite art pieces: Christina Kubisch’s Electrical Walks, and Memo Akten’s Learning to see: Gloomy Sunday. I like the fine line they walk between what we’re used to perceiving as natural and man-made, or digital. I like how they sort of break that invisible wall of separation between the two, and it’s been a great source of inspiration for me in recent years.

An excerpt from Memo Akten's Learning to See: Gloomy Sunday

During our brainstorming session, we opened a map and honed in on New York. After discussing several new takes on this assignment, we arrived at an intriguing new concept: representing the antipode of our location by curating and manipulating the current location's existing ambient sounds. In effect that meant recreating the antipode’s auditory environment using sounds that exist in our current surroundings. We found out the antipode location of New York is practically in the middle of nowhere, just off Australia’s east coast. 

With this information we began exploring and researching the auditory dimensions of our inverted location, speculating what it might sound like, dissecting it across different layers, from the vast depths below and up to the water's surface. Venturing outdoors, we started recording New York ambient sounds, contemplating the specific sounds we needed and the manipulations we could apply to them, both physically and digitally.

We created two sound tracks out of all of the recordings we made: one of un-manipulated sounds from New York, and another of those same sounds that, through manipulation, try to mimic an underwater environment. As we were working on editing the sounds, we felt we’d like to make this experience richer — possibly through some sort of interactive or visual medium. 

Our final vision took shape as a minimalistic interactive experience, offering our audience the ability to traverse between the current location and its antipode. In doing so, we couldn't help but reflect on the profound implications of climate change, on what the future holds for New York, on current projections of rising sea levels — that eventually might sink this island, and will almost poetically slowly interpolate in real life between our two sound files.

X button icon

Jasmine Nackash is a multidisciplinary designer and developer intereseted in creating unique and innovative experiences.