The Dodo Whisperer (Final Project)

So for the final project I created a copper tape painting of the dodo bird with the traces forming multiple speakers, broadcasting different snippets of pre-recorded sound respectively when you hover your ears above them with a custom-made earpiece. The impetus for this project can be found here>.

Precedents: Multi-channel speaker paintings, My thesis research project

I recorded recitations of the poetry “For A Coming Exinction” by William Stanley Merwin with the speakers.

Here are the processes:


In-class user testing:
Tested the Whisperer during class: most who tried said they could hear something but couldn’t make out what it was which was a shame but nonetheless pleasing. The project was best experience in a quieter setting and with the earpiece placed right in the center of the speakers. The interaction is quite intimate and unfortunately the sounds could not be recorded. Here are some photos from user testing (smiles = “oh there’s something!”) Thanks Jeanette for the photos &videos! 

For future iterations I would:
1) Try to use copper foil instead of tape for more freedom in shaping the traces
2) Automate the triggering of the speakers (with capacity sensors as Liza suggested)
3) Explore better materials for sound amplification
4) Optimise usage of battery instead of using 2 for each speaker/circuit
5) Bigger scale & make it a multiple listener experience

For A Coming Extinction

Gray whale
Now that we are sinding you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing

I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day

The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
And ours

When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And fore-ordaining as stars
Our sacrifices
Join your work to theirs
Tell him
That it is we who are important

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