For the next test the interaction part of the situation has to become somewhat more intimate as the first test was too frontal towards the perceipiants. As I got the chance to work together with Kim Bosh (MA programme NAIP @ Prins Claus Conservatorium, Groningen, NL, the possibilitie showed itself to develop test Nr. two.
Add a tactile Layer to the experience. What is the presence of the device in the sense of experience? It does remind us of what we have to do for example. Or it tells us what friends and family are up to. It does so by giving us a sound symbol, or a short vibration inside our pocket.
These two aspects where something Kim and me wanted to explore further. How much of a physical experience can be transferred by digital means? I personally sat in front of my computer quite a few times thinking to myself that skyping with people half way around the globe is very nice and conveniant, yet it is missing something. As if the person on the otherside was there and not there at the same.
We tried to turn this around and pull it closer together. Kim developed a one on one performance on the Oboe, and I developed a system of sensors that measured her physical influences on the instrument while creating the sound. I translated the values to vibrations that where given to different spots on the body of the recipiants. We soon discovered that this overflow of sensual information can be quite hard to handle, and that it got very personal and emotional fast.
From the interviews we held with the persons who underwent the situation, we learned that in the physical form the digital interpretation is a lot more disturbing than in it s digital form. Maybe it is for a reason that skype is missing something? Would we be able to perceive more or would it throw us off too much?
Polysensory: check. Yet not what I wanted quite yet. Still at this moment I have learned more about what works and what does not. Since the influence that is given to the instrument is quite far away from the actual sound in the room the vibrations are hard to connect to the auditive experience. Also the one on one situation creates an intimate bubble around the two actors in the situation. There is still too little interaction involved.