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Bits'n People

interactive audio-visual installation, awareness display, activity monitor

"Real live" objects have attributes that artificial ones don't: A tree, a leaf from a tree, tell the state they are in. A car does the same. Yet its sounds are specifically "designed".

With a certain experience you can "read" and interprete these signals. They tell you something. "bits'n people" is the idea to treat a room, our classroom, as a blackbox and to document the state of the class as an audible, dynamic and living "sculpure". After a while it should be possible to distinguish wether people were present, moving around or talking. If the Network was active, if the printer was in use or wether there's a presentation going on, simply by listening to the sounds in the hallway and/or watching the colourplay on the wall.

Bjoern and me decided that the object the visual operations where performed on, should be a metaphor of our homepage. A representation of our class. A number of horizontal lines. The soundscape should offer a clear and significant distinction between "bitssounds" and "peoplessounds".

At the same time, the same actions should be performed with the metaphor/homepage itsself. Motion, Soundlevel and certain computer/network activities are converted into a shockwave loop.

"Bits'n People" was created 1998/99 and has been presented occasionally. The last Time at the "Sound Practice Conference 2001" at Dartington Hall, UK.

Thanks to Bill Gaver and Mina Hagedorn for inspiration.

At the "HCI 2003" conference I attended a workshop about Genre and Use-Quality analysis and we analysed "Bits'n People":

last update: 1/7/02008 0:53

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