Mediating Headphone Space
When I analyze objects, art, ideas, and people, I find understanding through the context of relationships. I am exploring "spaces between." I am interested in the space between conscious and unconscious activity in regards to information we may or may not perceive, process, and interpret in our daily operations, and the role certain technologies play in affecting this relational space. Such technologies may be referred to as mediating technologies.
Mediating technologies have a unique role in informing meaning. These technologies do more than passively observe or bridge context, they filter it. In doing so, they change our perception. They skew distance: a telephone mediates conversation over oceans of distance, but yet the voice speaks little beyond the distance of one's own ear to the receiver. They skew speed: the automobile moves us at a speed of 75 mph on the freeway, while we sit effortlessly behind a wheel. They skew vision: the television shows us a world of night snow in the mountains, framed by a rectangle and contained in the dimensions of a small box, while we sit effortlessly in the warmth of our summer afternoon indoors. They skew sound: listening to music through headphones, we cancel out the sounds of the people talking and traffic whistling, to exist in a silent film world narrated only by our selected, personal soundtrack. When our perception of physical reality, or natural context, is reshaped and packaged in an "up is down" and "in is out" way, we are challenged not only with new ways of seeing, but new ways of interpreting. New meanings emerge from the hyper-real contexts mediating technologies manifest.
-relational space (spaces between people and objects)
-mediating technology (how technology skews these spaces)
-interpretation of space (how we understand our world as a result of these spaces)
Headphones are objects that mediate public vs private space.
Headphones let us customize public space with controllable, private sound. The visuals in a public environment remain the same, but with the introduction of a personal soundtrack, the context of the shared images change.
While headphones isolate us, they simultaneously open the world in new interpretive ways. A schizophrenic experience is created as the user occupies two spaces at once, building an entirely new psychological environment composed of the private and public space.
Headphones are visible and physical objects. They delineate a clear line of private space within the public space. The user of the headphones is socially excused from listening regardless of whether or not they can hear what is happening outside of the headphone space.
-perception of distance
-concepts of intimacy
-sense of control, customization, personalization
1. Headphone Recorder
A modified set of headphones that allow the user to record external sounds while simultaneously listening to internal music, capturing the information we miss.
2. Headphone Mixer
The user may mix the levels of the external and internal sounds to create a sonic blend of private/public auditory space, creating a personalized cinematic "Foley Effect"
3. Headphone Heterotopia
Heterotopia, the "other place", with its real and imagined possibilities (a mix of "utopian" escapism and turning virtual possibilities into reality). Explores a simultaneously shared and isolated relationship between two users with headphones, each amplifying the public space of one user and turning it into the private space for the other.