Proposal for Sound and the City

picture-30picture-12

February 10, 2010 | Comments Off on Proposal for Sound and the City  Tags: , , , , ,

PComp Week One

Sensor Walk for ITP PComp Class.

On my sensor walk, the first thing that came to my mind is “what is a sensor?” exactly, because the more I looked around, the more everything seemed like it could be a sensor.

So without getting too much into Cyborg theory here, I would say that a sensor is anything that triggers or generates a signal, that can be sent over a carrier, interpreted by a communicating system, and reacted to with feedback by that or another comminicating system.

In our case I would say that we are most interested in sensors that can trigger or generate an electrical signal that we can interpret with hardware and software, but this:

native new york fern

native new york fern

and this:

gate latch new york

gate latch new york

also contain sensors, carriers and feedback.

The thing that makes sensors interesting for us too, I think, is that they imply an interpretation, and vice versa, a signal, implies a sensor. I heard somewhere once, that we should not create for an audience but create an audience with our designs. For example this:

dont litter please!

dont litter please!

actually says “don’t litter please!” but we read (when on site) “please!” [image] “don’t litter”. If I was a giant or looking at it from a window, it would read differently. Since I don’t litter anyway, I am actually uncertain about what the sign is trying to achieve. Humans don’t make for very reliable sensors. More over, they get terribly offended when they are expected to respond in a predictable way (ie feminists are not too happy about the whole male gaze as implied in traditional painting etc), or when they have to behave in a predetermined way (something which is also a characteristic of a good sensor).

Is a sensor attached to nothing, no longer a sensor?

eyeball

eyeball


The inability for the signal to get anywhere is tragic, because we have these sensors too.

I guess that’s why this is such a famous example in cyber culture:

frankenstein

frankenstein

and not so much this:

golem

golem

only one of them is explicitly about sensors, signals and feedback.

this is why (although both are hard to swallow) this:

caricature

caricature

is so much more compelling than this:

sketch

sketch

one has feedback, the other is transposition of signal.

Apologies for images culled from internet, some will be replaced by actual images from the walk as soon as I get to a scanner.

September 14, 2009 | Leave a Comment  Tags: , , , ,