Meditation Technology. [Computer, sheet metal, wood, cables, piezo microphones, Pure Data software, speakers, audio.]
This interactive installation creates an environment of simultaneous relaxation and heightened awareness. Slight physical motion creates change in the ebb and flow of spatialized sonic harmonies, providing participants an audible feedback on their current state of focus. The space is filled with the sound of crystal crucibles being struck or rubbed, inviting participants to experience the interplay of frequencies and beat patterns in the air as the sound slowly pans across four speakers in the corners of the room. Participants are invited to sit on four metal mats positioned in the four directions on the floor, each with a piezo microphone sending audio signal to a computer for processing. Through a custom software patch, the computer measures in real-time the amount of movement and restlessness of the participant on the mat. Based on this varying level of energy, the sound increases in spread the across the four speakers, or in cases of more disruptive movement, begins to distort. Participants quickly become aware of their own movement, and the movement of their three other co-meditators.
Through this sonic feedback, participants ascertain the subtleties of both their personal and shared space. Focused, still meditation provides tonal clarity, while disruption increases noise in the environment. Meditation Technology enables collective awareness through a technologically mediated system.
The sounds featured in this piece are recorded from a by-product of technological innovation in the silicon industry. The ringing crucibles one hears hear, similar to crystal bowls, were used to forge microprocessors in California over 20 years ago.
Special thanks to Dan Lauter, Liz Phillips, Pall Thayer, and Seth Powsner.