Joe Paradiso, Gershon Dublon, Nicholas Joliat, Brian Mayton and Ben Houge (MIT Artist in Residence)
Our new building lets us see across spaces, extending our visual perception beyond the walls that enclose us. Yet, invisibly, networks of sensors, from HVAC and lighting systems to Twitter and RFID, control our environment and capture our social dynamics. This project proposes extending our senses into this world of information, imagining the building as glass in every sense. Sensor devices distributed throughout the Lab transmit privacy-protected audio streams and real-time measurements of motion, temperature, humidity, and light levels. The data are composed into an eight-channel audio installation in the glass elevator that turns these dynamic parameters into music, while microphone streams are spatialized to simulate their real locations in the building. A pressure sensor in the elevator provides us with fine-grained altitude to control the spatialization and sonification. As visitors move from floor to floor, they hear the activities taking place on each.