Sonic Rug - a textile human-machine interface
Sonic Rug is the result of an artistic approach to smart textiles, developed during a residency at ETH Zürich. The project is exploring the possibilities of connecting soft material to the digital space, manifesting the results within an interactive installation, that creates sounds by touch.
A basic frequency can be triggered by a person interacting with the carpet. This frequency can be amplified and distorted by touching different parts on the surface. The fluffy texture, which is operating as a sensor, is connected wirelessly to a program which transmits sounds in realtime through audio speakers. To sample and effect the triggered sounds live an additional application can be used on a tablet. Elongated and repeated sounds are created, wandering from harmonic variations to clusters and distortions, tunes are cumulating into a blast of noise until the contact with the carpet is released again. Thereby the carpet is turned into an unusual electronic music instrument although technical parts and black screens stay concealed to return the digital information through the air (cloud). An object evolving during the process of interaction exposing its full narrative beyond first impressions.
Together with TISCA handmade rugs we created a huge capacitive sensor that generates data for various uses. The material utilized for this experiment was sponsored by Bekaert and is usually intended for antistatic solutions for carpets in aviation, aerospace and office complexes.
The carpet represents an interaction device, acting as mediating surface between furnishing items, technology and aesthetic production. It is a soft sensor, aiming to bring the swipe and scroll movements back outside onto a tactile interface. Not the aesthetics of technology is in the forefront but tangible values of handcraft and quality of a soft and comfortable texture.
Concept and Design: Selina Reiterer
in Collaboration with TISCA Rugs
Sounddesign: Oliver Maklott, Selina Reiterer
Development: Oliver Maklott
Photography: Petra Rainer, Anna Maragkoudaki, Selina Reiterer
with support by CAAD/ETH Zürich and Bildrecht/Bildraum Bodensee
Camera: Anna Maragkoudaki
Editing: Anna Maragkoudaki
For more infos and projects around the sonic rug visit: sonicrug.com
A research project funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts & Culture and the Ministry of Arts & Culture Vorarlberg. © 2016