Ludwig Zeller (IVK, IXDM) talks at the RIXC Festival (October 19-21, 2017) on “Virtualities and Realities” in order to present the “Institute of Sonic Epistemologies”. The research project, which was created as a collaboration with Martin Rumori (IEM Graz), recently received a distinction at the SNSF Scientific Image Competition and was part of the SNSF project Experimental Data Aesthetics (IXDM) led by Claudia Mareis and Shintaro Miyazaki.

About the talk

The lecture gives a short introduction to fictional story-telling in Speculative Design (Dunne/Raby 2013, Zeller 2016, Zeller 2017) by the means of material and audio-visual stagings and in consideration of binaural auditory environments (Rumori 2017). Subsequently, our approach departs from Holger Schulze’s (2013) and Pedro Vieira de Oliveira’s (2016) discussion of “Sonic Fiction” as coined by Kodwo Eshun (1998).

About the project

The Institute of Sonic Epistemologies is a site-specific, mixed environment installation that explores ways to convey a fictitious, ‘post-visual’ scenario: What if visual strategies lost their dominance in scientific data analysis against sonic techniques? What if blind people caught up with the non-blind in our information societies through their advantage in hearing? The installation stages a training class for statistical data analysis by means of sonification. Visitors are invited to enter and explore the space, however, the actual narrative is only accessible by listening to an augmented auditory layer provided by headphones. These are installed at different locations in the room, each of them allowing for a different spatial perspective combined with advancing dramaturgy. Binaural technology and custom acoustic measurements in the exhibition space are used in order to relate visual and auditory elements to each other while the augmented layer and the real space provide the same acoustic impression.

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