Sonification of Performative Space
Sensuous Geographies is a responsive sound and video environment. It is a space of ritual, a liminal space intended to draw attention both to the intricate inter-weaving pathways of sensation in the body, and to the equally intricate pathways of subtle group behaviour.
The installation comprises a collection of polyphonic electroacoustic sound worlds which are created as the actions of visitors to the installation generate and influence both individual musical layers and the overall texture of the sound environment. Shadowy virtual counterparts of the visitors are projected onto banners, intermittently brought to presence by the motion of those engaging with in the installation. The members of the public who become active participants in this responsive environment immediately become an integral part of the installation itself, as they don richly coloured costumes before entering the active space in order that they can be identified as distinct individuals by the motion tracking which drives the interactive system. The visitors’ engagement with and immersion in the sound environment results in a continually evolving world of sound, image, light and colour which visitors can alternately observe from without and experience from within.
Sensuous Geographies is intended primarily to be a space for interaction, for contemplation, even for play. It is in a very real sense a performative space, for the users both generate and become an integral part of the environment as they engage with it. When activated the piece exists simultaneously as a durational ‘performance’ and an immersive installation environment.
Sensuous Geographies comprises an enclosed space which is hung with banners, some translucent, some opaque. The space is also articulated by the speakers from which the sound emanates. These are placed around the responsive, or performative, space and around the perimeter of the space in which the installation is mounted. The sound is spatialised by the behaviour of the visitors, creating a mobile sound world in which visitors are fully immersed. Projected video imagery which offers a shadowy reflection of the costumes worn by visitors to the space appears and disappears on the banners, which are placed both within and outside of the performative space. The responsive area is defined by a textured floor cloth which gives an implicit geography and shape to the installation environment. [Quicktime video]