Artwork: Sonar Glove - Interactive Clothing - 2007
Glove, Wires, Microcontroller, Flash
Collaboration: Michael Ries, Hayley Silverman, Jennifer Beser
The human experience is dictated by the physical construction of our bodies. Most of us are highly dependent on the sense of sight to take in information and navigate world. Our culture has become highly dependent on this sense to the exclusion of our other senses. We spend more and more time in front of computers and televisions, it may be possible that we are becoming numb to the information (perception) from our other senses, and even forgetting how to use them. For people who people who have been able to see their whole lives, this dependency causes us to neglect our other senses such as sound, taste, smell, and touch.
Sonar Glove explores the way we experience our environment, specifically by supplanting the participant’s sense of sight, and offering the opportunity to replace it with a different sense based sound. It presents the information in a novel way that our culture doesn’t actively explore. The artwork will allow participants to discover new ways of perceiving the world around them.
Sonar Glove in it's proposed form will consist of a blindfold and pair gloves that is worn by the participant. The gloves will each utilize infrared distance finding circuitry to determine approximate distances to objects in a room, which they will try to navigate while being blindfolded. The sensor data will be converted to either sound or vibrations depending on which mode the participant chooses to use. If the participant chooses sound, the data from the sensor will produce a sonar pinging sound based on the distance: faster repetitions for close and slower for farther away. If the participant chooses vibration, the distance to the object will be represented by a small vibrating motor on the glove: faster for closer, and slower for farther away. The participant has an opportunity to discover more about different senses by being given a choice, and to interact with the piece on different levels.
It could also be very interesting to collect the data and observe patterns of sensory discovery for future artworks.