Sensory Threads

In 2008-2009 I was involved with the Sensory Threads project in collaboration with Proboscis, Birkbeck College’s Pervasive Computing Lab, The Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary (University of London), Mixed Reality Lab (University of Nottingham) and the School of Management at University of Southampton. Sensory Threads is an multi-disciplinary interactive digital artwork and research project. Our first exhibition was in June 2009, as part of Surface Tension at the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre.

Sensory Threads is a mobile and collective sensing experience, which aims to draw attention to imperceptible phenomena in our everyday environment. Four participants wear portable sensors as they move through the city, and the real-time sensor data is presented as a generative musical soundscape.

My contribution was the development of the generative music software, which transforms the live wireless sensor readings into an interactive musical soundscape. The soundscape is designed to provide recognisable mappings between the sensor data and audible representations in the music, therefore acting an aesthetic musical experience and a live sonification of the sensor data. The soundscape was programmed in SuperCollider.

You can listen to a short sample of the Sensory Threads soundscape, and you can also read about out sound design for Sensory Threads in the paper Sensory Threads: Sonifiying Imperceptible Phenomena in the Wild.

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