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Entries in objects (19)


Volumes for Sound

Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson came up with Volumes for Sound while looking to find a physical representation of immaterial things. The objects can be seen as sculptures which can form all kinds of different structures, but are equipped with speakers as well.

This summer Volumes of Sound is exhibited as part of the 2012 Reykjavík Arts Festival in Iceland. Various sound artists will be asked to compose a piece specifically for the installation, which plays eight channels of audio. 


Paper Note

Another nice looking physical representation of a sound wave is created by Andrew Spitz from { sound + design } in collaboration with interaction designer Andrew Nip. Paper Note is made using a laser cutter to create discs of paper who form the waveform when joined on a piece of string. 

The video below gives a good impression of the process of creating the Paper Note:


Sonic Business Cards

Richard Eigner was the man behind Denoising Field Recordings. He is also part of the electronic Music duo Ritornell. Katarina Hölzl designed some wonderful new business cards for them. By giving someone their business card they now give away a tangible piece of their music. Sadly, not everyone has that nice custom built wooden music box at home to play the cards. It’s a lovely idea though. 


Phonograph CD Player

The Phonograph CD Player has been around for a while, but I had never seen it before. In these days most music we play cannot even be touched anymore, and the CD is slowly becoming obsolete. This Phonograph CD player created by Yong Jieyu & Ama Xue Hong Bin brings us back to the world of vinyl and the phonograph.

The player is made from the insides of a portable CD player. The CD has to be put on the player upside down, so the laser on the ‘tone arm’ can access it and it moves fron the inside out. This is what the player looks like with no disk: 

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186 prepared dc-motors, cardboard boxes

Another wonderful installation by Zimoun, this time created using 186 prepared dc-motors, cardboard boxes 60x60x60cm, apparently this is also the title of this sound installation. The audience can use their imagination.

If you have not done so already, be sure to also read Zimoun’s answers to the Five Sound Questions, and while you’re at it, the included video gives a nice overview of his work. His work can be seen at upcoming events in Venezuela, Switzerland, Germany, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland and the United States.

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The BoomCase

I am a friendly man, but The BoomCase by Mr. Simo makes me fantasize about a smartly dressed man carrying this suitcase, entering a train, sitting next to one of those kids playing inferior ‘urban’ beats on his inferior mobile phone speaker, waiting five minutes, than hitting a button to blast him away with 200 Watts of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

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Rechnender Raum

At this year’s Sonic Acts festival I had an encounter with Rechnender Raum, a wonderful, seemingly living installation created by Ralf Baecker, operating similar to a basic artificial neural network. The open construction allows visitors to see every single moving detail of the machine. 

I was amazed by the complexity of the fragile wooden structure and the network of strings, all connected to the moving outline of a torus in the center of the installation. 

While Rechnender Raum (German for calculating space) gives us a lot to look at, and it is nice to walk around the structure and inspect every small element up-close, I also enjoyed the soft, insect-like chirping of the small electronic motors keeping the network alive and slowly moving.  

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Earworm Assault Devices

Although I consider myself a pacifist, these Earworm Assault Devices are quite funny and (well, moderately) harmless. We probably all know the experience of having a song in our mind that just does not want to leave and keeps repeating compulsively. That is what we call an earworm. 

While most of these earworms arise naturally in our mind, a few years ago the German interface designers from Fur came up with the Earworm Assault Devices. Small weapon-like machines constructed with the sole purpose to plant unwanted song phrases in a victim’s mind. They record samples up to 12 seconds and ‘shoot’ them at your ears repeatedly.

These earworms, if chosen carefully, can stay in your head for a long time. You just have to sing that song, or whistle, over and over again. I heard there is only one way to get rid of such an earworm. Sing the song all the way through, until you reach the end, and after the last notes it will be gone. I never tried this method myself though.   

Via Richard van Tol


Fine Collection of Curious Sound Objects

This Fine Collection of Curious Sound Objects is a project by Georg Reil and Kathy Scheuring. It is nice to see how they created a piece of sound art that also looks great. We see a couple of everyday objects which are modified to surprise users with their sonic abilities.  

All speakers, microphones and cables are carefully hidden inside the objects so they do not spoil the magic. While the sonic results are not mind blowing, the strength of this sound installation is how intuitive the and simple the objects work. They seem fun to play with for a while, and then put them away because of their limited functionality.

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After looking at the Sew-O-Phone and the Vacumonium, there is another work by Dennis de Bel I would like to share with you. This is the Brick-Up, a concrete pick-up. I do not know if the concrete body improves the sound, but it does look great!

As Dennis de Bel writes on his website, the Brick-Up can be part of a concrete pavement and become a real ‘stratenspeler’ (Dutch for ‘street player’). I think it is better off inside the house though. A maximum of ten Brick-Ups is custom made on request.