#1 — or where I give you examples of “locative media”

I will start by introducing this project of mine titled Haven’t Met You Yet.

This Pure Data patch works technically and artistically to symbolize strangers crossing paths repeatedly. It is always intriguing to get introduced to someone to then find out we had been to the same concert or restaurant at the same time. I might have seen and heard this person before. However, in our society, it isn’t until we exchange names that we officially meet. This next project of mine is not a highly accurate analysis of that phenomenon, but rather a conceptual version of it.

I asked two volunteers to share their geolocation during 24 hours on a private Google+ account. They sent a status indicating where they were every time they moved to go to work, school, home, etc. I collected the data into two different files and created maps with it. I attributed a colour to each neighbourhood of Vancouver and faded each colour to white at the south. I then proceeded to trace their path in the city as precisely as possible. Later, I generated fake maps to give more options to users.

The user selects a map and opens the window. With his cursor, he goes over the black path. Because every colour on the map has a RGB value and brightness, the synthesizers will create different sounds. The water is black so that it does not generate anything.

The visuals are created in Illustrator, with the areas
well identified by the colours. This patch is a conceptual approach to my question and theme since
it is not super precise. Instead maps become a set of data being sonified and in some sorts, a musical instrument played with a cursor. It allows the user to compare the two sounds as translations of the paths taken by strangers that day.

The brightness is associated with pitch. The amount of green triggers two phasors slightly out of phase. The blue is a square wave with a voltage-controlled filter and some noise. Finally, I drew in a table for the red, which is clipped to distort the sound. The clip restricts the signal to lie between limits. There is also delay that I made according to a tutorial by Dr. Rafael Hernandez. In terms of what the cursor provides, mousex and mouseycollects 8 pixels surrounding where the mouse is. The sub-patch averages this so that there is only one value for R, one for G and one for B.

Let’s move on to a piece that will inspire my work this semester, Placemeter.

The best way to explain it is through their promotional video.


Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe I am able to accomplish such a ambitious project. Elements I retain for my own practice are :

  1. Citizens and city collaborating to make the city a better place.
  2. Recycling old devices.
  3. Extending our comfort zone when it comes to privacy.
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