A Tool Through Which To Experience The City

Using The Tool, otherwise known as A Tool Through Which To Experience The City, your movements and the city’s ambient sound combine to create shifting and kinetic rhythms. The idea is that by playing with sound and movement, you’ll begin to explore and engage with the city in new ways.

The Tool was available for iPhone devices from 2010–2012 and downloaded by over 23,000 people from across the world. Many of those who downloaded it shared their own sound walks, recorded using the Tool, on the Internet. The Tool also garnered a positive reception from the press and was featured in Nyt Liite and The Guardian, amongst others.

A Tool Through Which To Experience The City is a piece of software art that provides a technologically-mediated augmented experience of the city. The aim is to use the common MP3 player – a device which cuts off the listener from the city and engenders an imagined experience of the commute – as a tool for enabling the listener to re-engage with the city space. By plugging into A Tool Through Which To Experience The City, the listener enters an augmented aural reality where the sounds of the city, time and space, shift and reconfigure in playful and unexpected ways.

The carrier of the tool moves around the city space and, as she does so, the tool processes audio from the embedded microphone found on the earphones. The tool is reactive, in that it processes audio based on various variables, some aleatoric and some relating to the carrier’s movement. The resulting sound is a combination of ‘reality’ – the sound of the city space – and the reactive software’s post-processed output.