Jutta Ravenna: SesamSesam (2017), interactive sound sculpture
During the Sonifications Festival a temporary network for a Data Soundwindow, made out of translucent circuit boards, will be installed in the Villa Elisabeth. Here the festival visitors can sonify the activities and events of their mobile devices in real-time. Through this sonification, the data of their interaction and communication behaviour becomes observable incidents, which develop, endure, then fade away. Data such as duration of stay, login, logout time, send and receive is sonified. The Data Soundwindow will function like a massive display, reacting visually to the web traffic. Several oversized number and text displays are integrated into the large-scale object and will correspond with various activities on the network.
Jutta Ravenna’s SesamSesam sonifies WLAN traffic in order to make possible, over physical experiences with data, the kinaesthetic perception of auditory input for the listener. The public will become part of the work itself, as it involves producing data for a 3D sound space and listening to the network presence in the data space, but ultimately to physically influence the auditory atmosphere. This happens in front of the Data Soundwindow through a 3D sensor, which scans the nearby gestural interactions, movements and paths through the sensor-space and turns the sound sculpture into an instrument. Within the conical sensor-space the constantly changing sound can be freely moved across three dimensions, allowing it to glide, rotate, gently oscillate or sharply pulse. The visitors explore these ‘kinetic objects’ with their bodies in the sensor-space, and at the same time their movements draw lines of sound into space. In this kinesthetic perception of sound, the experience of embodiment and formal algorithms entwine. Maurice Merleau-Ponty provides a fitting ending: “And finally, far from my body’s being for me no more than a fragment of space, there would be no space at all for me if I had no body.” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Phenomenology of Perception , trans. Colin Smith, Routledge: London, 2005, p. 117.)
Technical realisation • Liang Zhipeng/ Timo Engel