path-new

The Depository: Aural Outpost (2012)
Interactive light installation
Felt, custom electronics and programming (Asterisk, Unix, Max/MSP)


The Depository: Aural Outpost showcases sounds and messages left with The Depository. Audio files are regularly updated and played randomly in the space. The felt cocoons house a speaker and a light, which illuminate when a sound is played, symbolizing the temporal presence of another.


The Depository is an experiment in social relations – an interactive platform that explores the relationship building among strangers utilizing sound. It is a soundscape portal that gives the participants and the viewers a sonic window into their community and a place to anonymously vocalize their concerns, much like the communication vein of an internet message board. Viewers can record messages or postings for others to listen to messages, or listen to messages and postings from others. While The Depository provides a vehicle for expression, they are also sonic portals to other worlds, painting a soundscape of different places and people, raising awareness of parallel activity. With these characteristics, The Depository bridges foreign places, builds community and enable connections, and by default, creates another space.

The Depository is an experiment in social relations – an interactive platform that explores the relationship building among strangers utilizing sound. It is a soundscape portal that gives the participants and the viewers a sonic window into their community and a place to anonymously vocalize their concerns, much like the communication vein of an internet message board. Viewers can record messages or postings for others to listen to messages, or listen to messages and postings from others. While The Depository provides a vehicle for expression, they are also sonic portals to other worlds, painting a soundscape of different places and people, raising awareness of parallel activity. With these characteristics, The Depository bridges foreign places, builds community and enable connections, and by default, creates another space.

The Depository creates tangible representations of people, through their personal audible messages. It transforms the “painted bits” – giving physical form to digital information. Sound is loaded with subtle cues that are not typically conveyed through graphical user interfaces associated with the web. The project uses various network technologies to bridge disparate environments and connects, providing a platform for communication through sound. This project seeks to challenge typical notions of media-created communities, suggesting alternative directions of network computing and their interfaces.

The notion of community is changing as a result of social networking sites. Nancy Morgan commented on this: “Individuals are connecting to one another and witnessing each otherʼs expressions – the basis for forming a community.” We have more friends and contacts through the GUIʼs, but does that mean we have greater or deeper connections and relationships with them? The Depository seeks to redefine the notion of community through aural means and strengthen it.