Technical Issues/Documentation

The main issue I am having with my project is trying to find the most effective form of technology to communicate the sound to the listener. My original idea was to use QR codes and place them around the site so that people could find them, scan them with their smartphones, and stop and listen on a set of headphones. However, after designing a route for a short sound walk in class last week, I realized that the time to scan a code and use a browser or application to open the sound file would take away from the potentially meditative experience. It would be far more effective to have something emitting the sound files at each location – some kind of media player with headphones would be ideal. Unfortunately an installation like this would need to be in a secure location or guarded at all times, something that will not be possible with my project. A possible solution is a pre-downloaded playlist with clearly labeled track names or numbers so that the listener could follow a specific sound walk and just click “next” when they reached the next destination – much like an audio tour. I will try both the QR codes and the pre-downloaded track on some volunteers to get feedback as to which is more effective. I may end up creating posters/signs that have both these pieces of information so that someone with the playlist or a random passerby with no knowledge of the project would both be able to access the piece.


To document the piece, I plan to record a video from a first-person point of view and sync the corresponding audio clips with each location.


One thought on “Technical Issues/Documentation

  1. Hi Allyson,

    This is a tricky issue, and one that a lot of people have tackled in different ways. In addition to the two methods you describe, here are just a couple of other approaches:

    -Like Janet Cardiff’s walks are usually just one track, which she actually narrates. She coordinates the timing of the walks with a narration, that might ask you to match the pace of her footsteps, for example.
    With this approach you could have a QR code at the beginning of the walk, where people could download a single audio file, and then have them follow along. Downside is of course you might lose some listening to the space itself
    -Another approach would be some sort of gps enabled audio player. Similar things have been done with augmented reality apps. Kind of like what they are doing here:
    This approach would be more technically involved, and I’m not sure how effective it would be indoors in the CFA….just another thing to keep in mind.

    Excellent questions though…good luck, and happy to discuss/think through things more next week!


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