Monday, June 30, 2003

Social Matrices

While putting the final touches on the paper I've been writing, I thought I'd take a break and share one of the tech projects I discussed.

"Proboscis is a cultural organisation and creative studio which researches, develops and facilitates innovation through action research and development, publishing and realising creative projects. Proboscis' research programme SoMa (social matrices) think tank works in partnership with a network of arts, academic and industry partners."

Of special interest is their Sonic Geographies project:

SONIC GEOGRAPHIES takes sound as the entry point for excavating and mapping urban experience and invisible infrastructures of the city. A series of experiments and scenarios are being developed that operate as maps and journeys but also as highly personal renderings of sonic experience sounds of the personal world in conversation with sounds of the city. The mappings attempt to excavate the layers of sound that make up the city and create strata of difference: from the sound of a city's church bells to the shifting sonic signatures of traffic, music radio and the layers of wireless communications. Sound eludes systems of representation: this process of excavation will entail developing a graphic language and notational system for representing and articulating sonic difference, and the inter-relationships that occur as urban experience. The excavation is designed to open up a new space of enquiry into the experience of the city, and how sound functions as a kind of infrastructure for understandings of place and geography particular to contemporary conditions in the city.

The Urban Tapestries experiment is part of this and very cool. (Plus my friend Zoe is a research assistant on it.) You can read more about it in Andrew Lee's article for The Engineer.

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