Urban sonic activation on wheels: ghost scraper


Session Title:

  • Entertainment and mobility

Presentation Title:

  • Urban sonic activation on wheels: ghost scraper




  • Abstract

    Keywords: Sonic art, music technology, interaction design, urban space, alternative energy, creativity, networks, embedded computing, situated art, trans-disciplinary research, ghost communication.

    A custom built urban machine equipped with microphones, wheels, embedded computing, networked with wireless communication was used in a quest for hidden layers in the urban environment. This paper describes a tool for urban interactive sonic action – Ghost Scraper, a solar powered unit consisting of two networked and mobile modules for creating amplification of sonic properties hidden in urban material, such as walls, streets, buildings, staircases and more. Ghost Scraper is used as an urban tool, activating the sonic landscape. Layer by layer Ghost Scraper looks for sonic activity of ghosts, buried in the architecture of the city. Ghost Scraper is a tactile machine and easy to use and several people can search for activity at the same time.

    This paper examines sonic properties of the urban landscape and mobility – in the creation of temporary urban spaces when activating hidden layers. This is part of ongoing research concerned with bridging data spaces, urban landscape and interactive sonic spaces, using custom built sonic tools. This paper’s context can be seen in the light of early experiments and implementations of wireless communication technology from the early 20th Century. Pioneers in wireless communication, such as Thomas Alva Edison and Guglielmo Marconi both developed wireless radio machines, to be able to detect and communicate with the dead.