Swarming Sounds

In my Bachelor Thesis, I have designed and developed an Auditory Display (using the programming language Java) for the installation Der Schwarm.

Der Schwarm is an interactive installation developed by the working group dimeb at the University of Bremen. In this interaction space, the user enters into a dialogue with a flock of virtual beings by means of body movement. The user’s movements are detected by a laser scanner and a flock of light spots are projected on the floor.

The auditory display was developed with the aim to intensify the user’s interaction experience and to provide additional feedback information to support the user understanding the different states of the flock. The component Swarming Sounds has been integrated in the existing software of Der Schwarm. The auditory component continuously produces sounds that adapt according to the behavior of the flock.

Based on Ackermann’s keys of learning the enhancement “Dancing Sound facilitates “diving-in” by interacting with the projected light points on the one hand and “stepping out” by manipulating the determining parameters on the other hand (Ackermann 1996). Modifying and experiencing the different mapping possibilities shall help the user to understand the abstract concept of mapping and the impact of sound properties.”

Hashagen, A.; Hajinejad, N.; Schelhowe, H.: Dancing Sound (2009) Swarm Intelligence based Sound Composition through Free Body Movements. In Proc. 15th Int. Symposium on Electronic Art, Belfast Ireland.