This independent project concerns both the physical relationship between person(s) and an object and the physical relationship between the object and its sound--the object is a kick ball.
The environment will be a room that can contain the modified sounds. This is one of the two restrictions of the speaking ball’s functionality; second being the battery life of the wireless mic. The class will realize both relationships I described. They are the participants and the sole activators, dictators in a sense, of the sounds I’ve incorporated. Those that choose to participate will dictate through play, bouncing the ball out of fun and hopefully out of curiosity for the voice.
A ball, when bounced under normal conditions, creates a sound with the surface it strikes. My idea is to modify the sound produced in the bounce. And I will not alter the original sound; instead, I will add to it, and in a manner that allows the listener to naturally associate the new sound with the bounce.
My tentative method is to surgically implant a wireless microphone into a kick ball, deflate, puncture, implant, reseal, then re-inflate, successfully . . .hopefully
Assuming it works, the mic will act to sensor any bouncing the ball experiences, and signal the receiver connected to a Max 5 program. The software will modify the sound of the ball’s bounce by selecting new sounds I’ve programmed and then projecting through speakers into the room.
The idea of the sound fully filling the space of the room intrigues me: I think much can be invoked through sound when it takes on a sort of omniscient presence while manifested in something as small and commonplace as a ball.
I considered a variety of sounds to implement— Synthesized, natural, singular, multiple, musical, guttural, representative, mood-specific, etc. and found speech, and specifically single words, the most compelling.
I like the idea of providing the ball with a voice. A sort of identity is established in voice, and through voice, a narrative can be communicated. So, I like the idea of attributing identity and narrative to something insentient; distorting whatever original perception there may be; perhaps, invoking an unnatural empathy.
And to note- I also consider how a reconsideration of the ball’s sound might influence one’s personal sentiments towards the act of bouncing a ball.
This project further explores the dynamics of communication, of a mostly physical nature, but a cognitive one too; regardless, this is a purely social piece.
There’s also a violence to throwing an object whatever it might be, whatever the intent, at or to something else. I question this means to an end as well as the end, or result, that requires the use of force at the price of physical exertion.
Overall, I hope to realize the image of a room of people playing bounce out of fun, while involved with the sounds they’re making.