I interviewed Ben Valentine, Exhibition and Program Coordinator for Exhibit Columbus, about Exhibit Columbus, an extraordinary celebration of modernist and contemporary architecture that I had a chance to experience this year. Exhibit Columbus included an audio AR piece to complement the wide array of physical components and I wanted to share why they made this non-obvious design choice.
About Halsey Burgund
After getting a degree in Geophysics, designing and building furniture and working in the high tech industry, Halsey Burgund is now a sound artist and technologist. He works primarily with spoken voices in combination with traditional and electronic instruments in both audio installations and musical performances. For the past decade, his work has focused on contributory location-based audio installations for which he developed Roundware, an open-source audio augmented reality platform for collecting, organizing and re-presenting audio via smartphones and the web.
Halsey is currently a fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab where he researches new forms of audio documentary.
Entries by Halsey Burgund
“So really what is the maximum for our storytelling is when the whole world seems like it’s in cahoots with what’s being told rather than as a kind of stage that’s been taken hostage for your little show to go on.”
I am just coming around to thinking of there being such a thing as the “audio AR industry” and not just esoteric artistic explorations. This report by the folks over at ARtillery Intelligence shows how much things have changed over the past few years as some very big players are realizing that augmentation for your ears has a ton of potential.
I have long thought of augmented reality as a direct relative (or at least a not-so-distant cousin) of the memory palace, but my ideas have only been vague high-level musings, so it was a real treat to read William Uricchio’s new essay on the history of AR in which, among much much more, he dives into this territory.
I’m not sure if that is a term, but “face-wear” seems appropriate for all the crazy things tech companies want us to put on our faces as a portal into digital worlds. I have an assortment of feelings of ambivalence and apprehension about many approaches that are being taken, but overall, there is so much positive potential that I try to stay abreast of where things are going.
The Augment app filters your acoustic environment, takes out harsh sounds and turns stressful noise into harmonic sound environments.
Be Here Stories is a collaboration between the Museums on Main Street group at the Smithsonian and the MuseWeb Foundation. The project is designed to collect stories from rural America and share them not only when on-site, but also more broadly.
If you want to try out adding your own content to an AAR landscape, check out the demo Roundware iOS app.
When I begin creating a new audio AR piece, there are a handful of questions I ask myself that help me hone in on the best approach to the project as well as make sure I consider a broad set of options. Typically I have preconceived notions about what the piece needs to be, but I have found that going through these questions is a useful exercise even if it doesn’t end up changing my approach to anything.
I just read this interesting article about visual AR from Jeremiah Alexander which summarizes and categorizes 6 of the most important (in his opinion) capabilities of visual AR. He walks through how to consider these features for a project you may be considering and I think there are useful analogies to the audio AR world.