Image description: Photo of three participants wearing headsets and exploring the Sensory Associations video.
Sensory Associations is a new multisensory, participatory and collaborative exploration of our senses in space and time, and developed by multisensory artist and design enthusiast Andrew Mashigo, of MaMoMi.
This initial iteration, exploring the audiovisual perception, was installed at Tate Exchange from 1-3 September 2019 as part of the Inside Job exhibition at Tate Modern.
Based on an investigative approach to our senses in space and time, this immersive project explores how we observe and respond to our immediate environment.
Using a video compilation juxtaposed with recurring sounds of deliberately selected and edited tracks, it then confronts and challenges the way we interpret audiovisual perception. The response is a dialogue that opens up and initiates a new set of conversations and feedback, both artistically and cognitively.
Image description: Participants watching the Sensory Associations audio-video installation, using the SubPac units that take the narrative so we experience sound tactually.
This iteration of Sensory Associations was devised for all audiences and is particularly interested in better understanding sighted peoples association with visual and auditory perceptions. Driven by some of the misconceptions relating to sight and sound we perceive, this project helps identify and highlight some of those misconceptions, with a view to improving an active and mindful use of all our senses.
The notion of preconceived ideas of what is and what is not, or of links and associations, is questioned, especially with what we think is and is not. We know that mindful flexibility of meaning and auto-suggestion can influence the range and sensitivity of sensory perceptions and this is clearly observed by and responded to in this project. Contextual information used in this installation helps participants re-consider many of their expectations and interpretation.
Heightening this somatosensory and immersive project is the use of the SUBPAC, a wearable tactile audio platform that delivers a deeply immersive and nuanced bass with far more resolution and range than traditional speakers and headphones. The use of the SubPac gave our audience a much broader audio range, opening up the auditory perception even more.
The SubPac is a valuable and integral part of this project as it takes the audio narrative used in the audiovisual installation and creates a sensorial experience for our audience, with the sound vibrations pulsing through the body to the inner ear, so users sense it as hearing. Many participants were amazed at the application of the SubPac in this project and you can read a small selection of the feedback we collected below.
SUBPAC is used by thousands of audio and VR professionals to add a heightened level of immersion, impact and awareness. There are currently two versions of the product, SUBPAC S2 for seated and SUBPAC M2x for mobile experiences. View their website via http://www.subpac.com
They also have a blog series at www.subpac.com
“An interesting take on the connections between the senses. The combination of natural, animalistic sounds with industrial imagery created an inquisitive reflection and emotive response.”
“Really great. You hear something very different from what you see. Interesting regarding the perception of the world challenged by this sensory animation.”
“This is the best thing about this exhibition. I love that it is interactive and you notice all the good and bad things that happen on the screen. I love sensory associations!”
“Wonderful combination of sight, sound and physical stimulation. The great thing about the technology is that you can experience the “body rush” normally associated with high volume sound without the impact on one’s ears. Thank you!”
“I love how the sound changes my perception of the images. The SubPac gives a really nice massage and enhanced my experience!”
“A fascinating way to represent the different sensory perceptions. Challenging with all senses mixed up. Well done and thank you for sharing the experience!“
Please note that this audiovisual installation is still in development and additional sensory elements will be developed and produced for 2020.
Andrew Mashigo – Multisensory Artist
SubPac – Wearable technology unit
Miles-Andrew Mashigo – Video editor/Producer