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The Science and Technology of Music

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Research Project: Acoustic Sculptures

Back to Research Field: Music Perception and Cognition

Acoustic Sculptures

  Research Project Information
Runtime: Jun 01, 2011 until Jun 30, 2012
Project coordination: Jeremy Cooperstock
Scientific staff: Adriana Olmos; Jean Piché; Gary Scavone; Zack Settel

As urban citizens, we are exposed to elements of daily living such as traffic lights and passing cars, as well as artistic creations such as sculptures and murals. The latter enrich our lives through their visual aesthetics, making our daily commutes more pleasant. However, the blind and visually impaired community is unable to benefit from these art forms, as the cues they receive from the environment are typically limited to more pragmatic acoustic information. Motivated by our recent field study observations with the blind community, we are intrigued by the possibility of rendering for them an acoustic description of physical art forms as an analogue to the experience that sighted individuals receive as they walk down the street. For instance, could we convey through audio the physical features of a sculpture in front of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) so that a blind individual gains a mental representation of its form, and ideally, an appreciation of its aesthetic?