Graspable Noise BY Tania Gonzaga Souza

“Graspable Noise” is an installation that explores an experience of noise in signal processing by experimenting with the boundaries of perception between the physical and the digital in the VR context. It is a combination of different visual representations of noise and an air-blowing table, creating a tactile sensation. Furthermore, it enhances the already bugged features of the outdated software/hardware setup. A small dark room is used to create an atmospheric expanded space outside the virtual world. It is composed by a wooden black table, a chair, a VR headset with a motion sensor attached, speakers, and a dim LED light for orientation purposes. The table is built with 11 computer fans, running at different RPM and distributed in a specific way to create a topography field of air flow. The wind is placed as an abstract, physical representation of the digital noise and it is used because of its turbulent force, ungraspable, and non-material quality. In addition, an ambience soundtrack was composed using the fan motor sounds, complemented by dissonant intervals of second minor. The track plays constantly in the room yet not overlapping the motors’ live sound. The visual program loops four scenes, examining different interactions between the physical and the digital. They are changed after a predefined time, each having their own duration. The hand movements are the central component to trigger the interactions. By hovering the hands around the upper space of the table, the viewer is able to perceive and establish its own connections between the visual scene and the tactile sensation and his perception of the wind. The interactions are subtle as not to mimic a game environment in which goals and targets are defined, but rather focus on the actual state of the experience. Each scene is a series of patterns that move in such way to create a metaphorical noise motionscape. They were composed based on the tactile qualities of the wind, each exploring a possible perceptual and interpretive connection. The motionscape proportions are defined by the physical range of the motion sensor and created to be accessible within an arm’s reach. The simulations provide a certain feeling of frustration by using unpredicted and somehow unwanted qualities of noise. Furthermore, it makes use of bugs, interruptions, and unpredicted behavior of the compositions to induce new relations between the tactile and the visual. The final aim of this installation is to explore the active potential of motionscapes combined with tactile perception in immersive media.

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Nabshi Gallery