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An experiment on focal and peripheral attention
Researcher: Bernardo Varela

Attention! We have been bombarded by an infinity amount of sensory stimulus everyday.

In order to survive, the human cognitive system filters noises (sounds, images and thoughts), so we can focus attention on a specific task.

Perception can shape reality, shifting attention in real time from foreground
to background depending on the current stimulus.

We do this all the time, intuitively, without noticing.

This experiment plays with the idea of how we can perceive the same thing differently
depending on our current and ever changing priorities and interests.

The sounds recorded for this experiment reveals that depending on where our attention is focusing
at a given moment, cars on a Highway ( busy sounds) can sound like waves breaking on the beach
(calming sounds) or leaves been smashed by a bicycle can sound like boiling water.

Sound recordings of cars on a Highway.
in East London near UCL (Here East).
After editing and filtering the sounds, the similarity between
the sounds of cars and ocean became more explicit.
Also sound recordings of bicycle running over dry leaves.
After editing and filtering the sounds became similar to boiling water.

During the editing, a High-Pass filter was used to cancel the low frequencies of sounds.
By modulating the low frequencies of the recorded sounds of cars on a Highway,
the sonic similarities between a busy road and waves breaking on a beach were enhanced.

The edited audio was analysed in Touchdesigner to generate the procedural animation
of the rectangles (road stripes and waves particles) reacting in real time
with the different sound frequencies.
Also keyframe animation in TD to add camera movement and to enhance
particles flow and adding more drama and narrative to key moments.

Touchdesigner CHOPto operator converts audio analysed data into image.
(a row of pixels with color values animated at 60 frames per seconds. The sound frequencies are spread horizontally from left to right, low to high).
The TOP feedback combined with other effects
creates a representation of the audio spectrum
rendered as a moving image in real time.

Researcher: Bernardo Varela
Supervisors: Paul Bavister, Felix Faire, Luca Dellatorre
Thanks (TD tutorials): Simon Alexander-Adams, Hristo Velev
Software: Ableton Live, Adobe Audition, Touchdesigner
Hardware: Binaural Microphones (Sennheiser Ambeo smart headset), Iphone, Surface Book 2

Projected developed on the M.Arch Design for Performance & Interaction
Master programme of the Bartlett School, University College London

#High-Pass, #bernardovarela, #pathwayThree, #dfpi, #designforperformanceandinteraction, #interactivearchitecturelab, #Touchdesigner, #SennheiserAmbeo, #ableton, #peripheralattention, #motiongraphics, #generativeart


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