This audio feedback system is a prototype designed to digitally manage or 'shape' resultant audio feedback tones as they resonate through an open cylinder waveguide. Pressure waves are produced in the air by a loudspeaker, guided through a configuration of pipes, and sensed by a microphone on the other end. By completing the partially open waveguide loop, energy flows seamlessly between external sound and digital environments.

Musical parameters strategically established inside the instrument enable passersby to intuitively perceive noise as proto-musical in public spaces. The sound sculpture is free-standing and invites observers to interact gesturally and sonically. The cue(s) for observer(s) is an intermittent transformation of local environmental sounds in real-time. Such cues are intended to encourage spontaneous collaboration amongst participants who are within close proximity to the instrument. Once individuals have engaged with the instrument, sound information transfer is expected to increase and in turn generate a substantive musical interaction over the course of minutes. In this first iteration of the device, a performer is required to guide the sound shaping process, but future iterations will initialize sound cues automatically.

Manufactured waste materials or commonly found materials are integral to the creation of the prototype, along with open source software such as Pure Data and MobMuPlat. Used and/or discarded electronics (e.g., smartphones, speaker cones, components, microphones, and batteries) will be implemented as this project evolves. By reusing these materials, it is hoped that awareness is raised around issues of product obsolescence imposed by monopolistic corporations, industrial waste pollution, and economic inequality in the arts. Creative reuse being one way of many for artists to engage tangibly and metaphorically in the struggle for a more renewable society.

> Jason Cress, Graduate Student Researcher
Jon Yu, Graduate Student Researcher

Photo and video recording of César Chávez Park by Jon Yu

> SHAPE, Sound and Habitat Audio Prototyping Environment


Additional Project Images