Proposal for Google Labs Paris – Wifi Sounding Cape

This post is to help jurors for the Jacquard x Google Arts & Culture – Artist Residency to understand the proposal we are putting forward.

Here is the text:

What if a cape you were wearing was very subtly “purring” in a very distinct way as you move in and out of wifi signal strengths? Could the distinct frequency bands of wifi be captured and transformed into a pleasant ambient sound that is constantly shifting around the wearer of this specifically designed garment? The focus of my research for the last decade has been on sonification or listening to data. To that end, working at the ArtSci lab at UTDallas and at CNMAT at UC Berkeley I have been developing new use cases to move this area of research from singular art installation work, to something that could scale up. We have been working on “use cases” that would do just that. This is a such a case. We would be developing the antenna and gestural control mechanism to scan across the distinct frequency ranges of wifi. Using a Bela based audio board the detection of the wearers gestures will be combined with these signals to generate an ever changing sound field that informs the user and those around them of the radio frequency field dynamics in the space.

I would point anyone interested in this approach to data to sound conversion to the video of performance at the 9E2 event in Seattle
Please go to 10’48” to see the section of the performance where I map the chess game being played by an astrophysicist and neuroscientist to neuroscience data regarding aging, converting it to sound in real time. This is an example of the sort of real time conversion that would be exemplified in this work.

Budget estimate:

4 Bella mini boards at 138.90 euro = 555.60 euro
5 Lilypad development 65 euro = 325.00 euro
Material for fabricating garments 1500.00 euro
Sensor material for gesture 1000.00 euro
Material for developing antenna 1000.00 euro
Mac for development 24000.00 euro
Unforeseen expenses 3000.00 euro

Total 9780.60 euro