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‘Affection Station’ by Salvador Orara – Reconnecting to our devices..

(ARL) Affection Research Lab: Affection Stations is a thesis project by Salvador Orara searching for ways to reconnect to our devices to facilitate revelations. They are designed as immersive installations which listen, and transcode a device’s unique incidental sound, exposing them to be more than just tools, toys, or gizmos but content generators revealing our intimate relation to them.

There are three stations: the Sound Station, Kinetic Station, and the Light Station. These “primary” stations are a means to provoke larger conversations on the presence of our electronic residues, also known as electromagnetic activity. Rather than designing to protect or provide awareness of these imperceptible activities, the Stations provoke conversations by becoming physical, tangible, and perceptible.

The Affection Stations are for the public. The Stations provide a space for one to discover their own meaning, and their own affection on how their device presents itself through the stations. They are a means to poetically inform our generation and of those to come, of the materiality of our time. The Stations are a means to express the possibilities of new relationships with our devices — a paradigm shift on how they are constructed, physically, computationally, electronically. The Stations embrace the inevitable electromagnetic spectrum, and exposes a new realm for design to take hold.

The Mobile Affection App is a web application accessible by any device capable of rendering Javascript. The application is intended to create a controlled environment. The application can be seen like a musical note being played by different instruments (devices), the beauty is how each device sounds different when performing the same application. A QR Code and reference to the application’s URL is available at every station. Click on image below to see webapp in action.

The Sound Station presents the true and unfiltered presence of the internal nature and electromagnetic residual of a device. The array of speakers function as an analog means of focusing on different frequency channels. Each speaker has a specific frequency response ranging from low to high. The speakers are arranged to give the owner & observer of a device a stereo listening experience.

The Kinetic Station transcodes a device’s incidental sound into movement. The station provokes a conversation around the immaterial residuals of our electronic devices being converted into our perceptual level of reality — becoming physical and designed.

The Light Station transcodes a device’s incidental sound into light. The station provokes a conversation around the immaterial residuals of our electronic devices being converted into our perceptual level of reality — becoming physical and designed. The station is just as much a means to an intimate moment with your personal device as it is a revelation of that which is super-sensible — something we do not yet understand the meaning of.

The Oracle Station transcodes a device’s incidental sound into text. Furthermore the Station also defines a particular device which is sensitive to the incidental sound of other devices. The Station allows a visitors device to affect the Oracle, the printer acts as a scribe to record the output of the Oracle.

The Opera Station exposes the different “voices” each device has. A volunteer device is directed to a web app, and by synchronized timing, are set off to perform a script. The station sets aside the transcoding and utilizes the true incidental sound as material for design.

The Whispering Station followed the inquiry of giving the device an extra eye and converted the incidental sound of a device into a low whispering hum. The extra eye enabled the device to speak if approached from the right direction. This station later became the Quadraphonic Response Station. ‘s incidental sound to speak or come out, to make you aware of its presence.

Each Station comes with a prompt to load an HTML 5 javascript web app, which is meant to level the field for all devices presented — every device is presented performing the same application.

Different software is used for different station. Tools used include Pure Data, Processing, Arduino, mrpeach osc lib, oscP5, Adafruit Thermal Printer Library, NETLab Toolkit & NETLab Hub, OSCulator, Coda. Mobile web app was created using HTML 5 / Javascript, NETLab Toolkit, Adobe Flash AIR iOS.

Hardware includes Motu Ultralite MK2, 10 8ohm speakers, 60 florescent lights, 7 continuous turn servos, standard electromagnetic pickups with ferrite magnet strips, relay switches, hacked power strips, LM386 amplifier circuit, Arduino thermal printer, custom laser cut plywood + foam core for device pockets, contact microphones, proximity sensors, audio cables, H2 Zoom Audio Recorder, Panasonic GF2, Canon 60D.

The Affection Research Lab has been created to develop Affection Stations and The Signal Archive. With the mission to become the seed of a device-affection development center and institution. ARL provides a counterpoint to today’s utilitarian computation culture and help to make affective computing more common. ARL fosters device-affection through the framework of the immaterial residuals and incidental sounds of our electronic devices, not through their surface features, determined outputs, or physical attributes.

http://affectionstations.org

    • JK

      Was lucky enough to catch this over at Art Center recently. Really great stuff, specifically the auditory component.