EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Documenting the difficult and ephemeral, a web approach to the documentation of interactive electroacoustic sound designs in Australia

Ros Bandt

The Australian Sound Design project, is the first national website and data base dedicated to researching and publishing sound design in public space. To date, some 70 sound designs in public space have been collated and published, some 25 of these having interactive characteristics. Electroacoustic sound works appear as sound designed public spaces in a multiplicity of formats in Australia. These include permanent public and ephemeral sculptures, time dense computerised sound installations, museum design, exhibits in airports, art galleries, car parks, digital and interactive media exhibitions, and real-time virtual habitats on and off the web. The degree of interactivity in the works varies greatly from work to work.

Three different works will be compared and contrasted to provide an introduction to this challenging body of works. Garth Paine’s piece Reeds is a responsive environment using weather sensitive data. Peter Mumme’s sound design of the Cairns Airport is a permanent installation responding to the data from plane arrival and departure times, while Iain Motts Sound Mapping is a socially engaging system where people can literally play a diversity of sites once the Global Positioning System data, is defined by the artist.

The works will be discussed and compared from the data published on the website which will reveal the methodology of the website design. This data allows for serious browse, search and cross referencing of all major entities, composers, sites, papers, bibliography, research tools and links which will facilitate intense analysis and comparative interpretation in the future.