BINAURAL SYSTEM #1

2014

interactive installation:

microcontrollers, headphones, polyurethane

'Binarual System #1' forms one part of my Creative Arts Honours project at UOW, exploring affect, simulation, and perception. 

The user wears a set of heaphones with a custom magnetic plug, which is inserted into one of the many 'ports' hanging from the ceiling. Upon connection, the listener experiences a binaural soundscape.

Binaural audio is how our brains hear. If mono audio has one dimension and stereo has two dimensions (left/right), then binaural audio has three dimensions (direction/depth/space). Binaural audio is decoded within our brains, turning micro differences in sound timing and volumes into a mental spatial map. In the same way that seeing a 3D movie causes a conflict between vision and proprioception, hearing binaural audio blurs the line between the virtual and actual stimuli. 

Headphone are necessary to hear the binaural effect, as each ear must receive a slightly different sound. The binaural samples begin at 1 min 15 sec in the documentation video.