Sensory Associations

17 September 2019

Sensory Associations is a multisensory, participatory and collaborative exploration of our senses in space and time, and developed by multisensory artist and design enthusiast Andrew Mashigo, of MaMoMi.

This iteration, exploring the audiovisual perception, was installed at Tate Exchange from the 1st to the 3rd of September as part of the Inside Job exhibition at Tate Modern.

Image: Participants watching the sensory associations video installation.

Based on an investigative approach to our senses in space and time, this immersive project explores how we observe and respond to our immediate environment.

Using a video compilation juxtaposed with recurring sounds of deliberately selected and edited tracks, it confronts and challenges the way we interpret the audiovisual perception. The response is a dialogue that opens up and initiates a new set of conversations and feedback, both artistically and cognitively.

Image: Participants exploring the audiovisual narrative translated into a tactile auditory experience.

Accessibility:

This iteration of Sensory Associations was devised for all audiences and is particularly interested in better understanding sighted peoples association with visual and auditory perceptions. Driven by some of the misconceptions relating sight and sound we perceive, this project helps identify and highlight some of those misconceptions, with a view to improving an active and mindful use of all our senses.

The notion of preconceived ideas of what is and what is not, or of links and associations, is questioned, especially with what we think is and is not. We know that mindful flexibility of meaning and auto-suggestion can influence the range and sensitivity of sensory perceptions and this is clearly observed by and responded to in this project. Contextual information used in this installation helps participants re-consider many of their expectations and interpretation.

SubPac:

Heightening this somatosensory and immersive project is the use of the SUBPAC, a wearable tactile audio platform that delivers a deeply immersive and nuanced bass with far more resolution and range than traditional speakers and headphones. The use of the SubPac gave our audience a much broader audio range, opening up the auditory perception even more.

The SubPac is a valuable and integral part of this project as it takes the audio narrative used in the audiovisual installation and creates a sensorial experience for our audience, with the sound vibrations pulsing through the body to the inner ear, so users sense it as hearing. Many participants were amazed at the application of the SubPac in this project and you can read a small selection of the feedback we collected below.

SUBPAC is used by thousands of audio and VR professionals to add a heightened level of immersion, impact and awareness. There are currently two versions of the product, SUBPAC S2 for seated and SUBPAC M2x for mobile experiences. View their website via http://www.subpac.com

Some feedback:

“An interesting take on the connections between the senses. The combination of natural, animalistic sounds with industrial imagery created an inquisitive reflection and emotive response.“

“Really great. You hear something very different from what you see. Interesting regarding the perception of the world challenged by this sensory animation.”

“This is the best thing about this exhibition. I love that it is interactive and you notice all the good and bad things that happen on the screen. I love sensory associations!”

“Wonderful combination of sight, sound and physical stimulation. The great thing about the technology is that you can experience the “body rush” normally associated with high volume sound without the impact on one’s ears. Thank you!”

“I love how the sound changes my perception of the images. The SubPac gives a really nice massage and enhanced my experience!”

“A fascinating way to represent the different sensory perceptions. Challenging with all senses mixed up. Well done and thank you for sharing the experience!“

Image: The SubPac units used by our audience to experience sound tactually.

Please note that this audiovisual installation is still in development and additional sensory elements will be developed and produced next year.

Credits:

Andrew Mashigo – Multisensory Artist
SubPac – Wearable technology unit
Miles-Andrew Mashigo – Video editor/Producer

Contacts:

www.mamomiinitiative.com

www.subpac.com/category/bass-chronicles

#sensoryassociations #immersive #sensory #tactilesound #subpac

Somerset House New Access Programme

Somerset House Access
A New Programme for visually impaired visitors
An Introductory Tour of Somerset House with a Focus Group

Date: 1 June 2019

Image: The Edmond J. Safra fountain court, Somerset House, with the North Wing in the background.
Image description: This is on the approach to the fountain quadrangle from the Seamen’s Hall, with the fountain in the foreground and the North Wing in the background. It is a bright sunny day with the blue sky visible above the North Wing. A young girl in a bright red t-shirt can be seen on the left playing with the fountain.

This Pilot session with a Focus Group explored the possibilities and opportunities available to visually impaired and differently-abled visitors to this contemporary arts centre in the heart of London.

Image: The Old Somerset House and the Thames. Circa 1680 | Image credit: Somerset House.
Image description: The Old Somerset House is in the background and the Thames in the foreground, with several boats sailing past the Embankment entrance.

Somerset House

Somerset House is a contemporary arts centre in the heart of London offering a diverse and dynamic public programme to a large community of creative businesses, artists and makers. It is also one of London’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces where art and culture is imagined, made and experienced by over 3 million visitors every year.

The Introductory Tour

This Introductory tour, created to explore the possibilities and opportunities within Somerset House, was devised around three elements; the History, the Architecture, and the current use of the building. The tour took us from the Seamen’s Hall to the Stamp stairs, the Embankment entrance, the Edmond J. Safra fountain court, the North Wing archway and finished in front of the statue of King George III. The feedback session was moderated by Lynn Cox, a VI artist and facilitator.

Starting at the Seamen’s Hall, a space full of character and offering a sense of grandeur with its white marble floors, imposing Corinthian columns, chandeliers and huge windows, we went on to view the architectural facade at the bottom of the Stamp stairs, which is on the street level from the Embankment entrance.

A Focus Group was invited to test the resources and give their objective evaluation. A key goal for this pilot session is to develop a programme that will become a valid cultural learning experience.

Image: VI visitors viewing the architectural facade of the North Wing.
Image description: Standing at the base of the Stamp stairs, VI visitors stand in front of the facade of the North Wing. The white facade is set on a two foot plus tall dark grey plinth, installed on the right side of the room. Three VI’s and a sighted guide discuss the features of the facade.

At the base of the Stamp stairs is the installed architectural facade of the North Wing. This facade, the exterior wall or face of a building, features detailed characteristics of the architecture of the building. Facades usually involve design elements like deliberate placement of windows or doors and the elaborate features and decorations in the structure. The North Wing facade reveals the massive arched doorways, large porch and wide windows, and plenty of consideration into the types of fenestrations used including the wall panels and curtain walls.

Image: VI visitors by the Embankment entrance listening to a detailed history of Somerset House.
Image description: Standing just under the arch at the Embankment entrance, four VI visitors and two sighted guides stand together to discuss the historical information about the building.

Leading out northbound from the Seamen’s Hall to the Edmond J. Safra fountain court, we view the courtyard which is one of the grandest locations in London. It is centred around Somerset House’s iconic fountains and surrounded on all sides by 19th century buildings.

This Grade 1 listed building does have some physical access limitations because of steps from the Seamen’s Hall and narrow walkways, uneven surface of the Stamp stairs and a cobbled square that goes all the way around the fountain and leading up to the North Wing.

To help with the interpretation of the space, we made reference to the architectural facade displayed in the Stamp stairs and used a 3D model of the top of the Corinthian columns. The Corinthian column is very ornate with slender fluted columns, with elaborate capitals decorated with leaves and rings.

Somerset House Today

Somerset House is a cultural destination with residents including over 100 organisations from the arts and creative industries. The Somerset House Exchange provides a co-working space for 120 small businesses and start-ups, including Makerversity, a pioneering collection of emerging maker businesses supported since its launch.

Since 1775 when a new building was erected, designed by William Chambers, the building housed various government departments including births, marriage, deaths and the Inland Revenue.

Somerset House was established in July 1997 to conserve and preserve Somerset House as an arts centre. After a campaign to open Somerset House to the public, it became a home for arts and culture in 2000.

Future Tours

The Somerset House Learning and Skills team and the MaMoMi team are reviewing some exciting possibilities and are keen to make this programme a valid learning experience for differently-abled visitors. Updates will be posted shortly.

Accessibility

Somerset House strives to be open and accessible to all, and continue to work to remove barriers for visitors with disabilities and to ensure our event and exhibitions are accessible.

To discuss your visit, call 0207 845 4600 to speak to someone in visitor experience between 10.00 and 17.00. You can also email visitor@somersethouse.org.uk and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact us at MaMoMi via info@mamomiinitiative.com

Address

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Getting here

The underground from Temple Station to Embankment entrance, which is approximately 200m. You can also use the main line stations Charring Cross, Blackfriars and Waterloo.

Credits

Andrew Mashigo: Tour Developer and Facilitator
Lynn Cox: Tour Developer and Facilitator
Catherine-Ritman Smith: Head of learning and Skills, Somerset House
Sophia-Hinton Lever: Learning and Skills Coordinator, Somerset House
Stu Baker: 3D Model Designer
Image credit: Somerset House Trust and MaMoMi
Large Print guide and Braille: MaMoMi initiative

#somersethouse #access #visual #arts #culture #education #mamomi

Bike-Ability: The Cycle Revolution

Bicycle wheel placed on a table, showing the spokes in detail

In an era when cycling has become one of the main ways of getting around, and for many, a way of getting around the city cheaper, it is clear that the cycling boom is here to stay. The increase in the last decade, with some statistics claiming it to be as high as 60%, has seen bicycles make up 25% of the vehicles in the morning commute. That’s an outstanding figure!

Bike-Ability: The Cycle Revolution, was held Saturday 9th of April, and was a multisensory tour in response to the current Cycle Revolution exhibition at Design Museum, London. The exhibition runs from 18 November 2015 to 30 June 2016, celebrating the diversity of contemporary cycling in Britain from every day commuting to Olympic level competition, and looking at where design and innovation may take the riders of the future.

The Studio Session:

Participant holding up a bicycle wheel on a table, with her hands at the centre of the spokes, and about 1 foot away from her face.
Image: A participant exploring a Cycle Wheel and it’s Spokes.

The tour started in the 1.5 studio with a discussion around current accessibility issues and some of the implementation of reasonable adjustment by institutions and other work places. Our focus on this tour was to explore materials and function, and how these materials used in the design of bicycles affects their function and usability. The history of bike-making itself reveals a host of materials, from steel, which is very tough but very heavy, to aluminium which is a lot lighter and will not rust, unlike steel, to the carbon fibre bikes which are almost 4 times stronger than steel but a lot more expensive, to the bamboo bikes, which have been quoted as been stronger by weight than steel.

So my question, to get us started, was to ask what memories we have of our first bicycles as kids, and what that experience was like?

Participant holding a bicycle frame, at chest height, and exploring the tactile detail of the A-frame.
Image: A participant handling the Bicycle A-frame.

We compared steel, aluminium and carbon fibre frames and quite evidently, it was clear that the aluminium frame was a lot lighter than the steel frame and it also does not rust like the steel frame will, but the carbon fibre frame was much lighter than the aluminium frame but also a lot more expensive.

Almost 4 times stronger than steel, the lightweight carbon fibre frame can be woven into shapes that metals cannot be made into, and where metals need welding at corners and joints, carbon fibres can be woven in one complete shape. Its durability makes it the choice of Olympic and all tour de France cyclists.

Participant holding a loop wheel close to her as she runs her hands around the rubber wheel
Image: A participant holding the loopwheel close to her and running her hands around the wheel.

The Loopwheel is a bicycle wheel that looks very much like a wheelchair or pushchair wheel and it uses an alternative to spokes to provide a more comfortable ride. The loopwheel springs which are the blue parts of the wheel positioned to replace bicycle spokes are constructed from carbon composite strips developed in conjunction with an archery bow manufacturer. These provide massive shock absorption so that what would have been a bumpy rides becomes a perfectly smooth ride. They are a lot more expensive than the regular wheels but do not need the maintenance that spokes may need.

Participants holding the UltraBike kit and Julie from UltraCane stands in-between them explaining how it works
Image: Participants holding the UltraBike as Julie from UltraCane explains how the technology works.

The UltraBike is an ultrasound kit designed to allow blind or visually impaired riders to cycle independently. The kit fixes onto the centre of the handlebars on any bicycle and is completely detachable.

The kit contains two ultrasound sensors that are positioned on the front, and these sensors point directly forward but also angled slightly outwards by 5 degrees. This ensures that the sensors can detect not just what is in front of the cyclist but also what is on either side of them.

This is the UltraBike kit's factor arm on the table, with the yellow button sensor showing.
Image: The tactor button on the arm of the UltraBike kit vibrates when the sensors detect an obstacle.

The tactor button is like an antenna that is used by touching, and the word tactor itself comes from the latin word tangier, which means to touch. The tactor buttons will vibrate when the sensors detect the boundary of the cycle track that is ridden around, giving ample warning so the cyclist is able to steer away from obstacles and stay on course.

Future Bike: Live Challenge:

The future bike live challenge explored the future of bicycle building and the Bamboo Bicycle Club with the Autumn Yard Design Collective were at hand to show our participants some of the processes involved in making a bamboo bike. This session was not just about building a bamboo bike because the challenge pushed the limits of their bamboo bike frames with the unique addition of 3D printed, carbon fibre reinforced lugs.

A participant holds 2 bamboo frames at chest height and smiles as she places the bamboo sticks in the shape of a cross.
Image: A participant holds 2 bamboo frames together, smiling as she feels the texture and strength of the bamboo.

Bamboo is said to be stronger by weight than steel, which means 5 kilograms of bamboo gives you more strength and tensility than 5 kilograms of steel. That is why we hear of bamboo bridges and multi-story scaffolding in places like Vietnam.

Building performance bamboo bicycles is an intensive and lengthy process but when done properly, the rewards can be great, producing bicycle frames that are both stiff and durable, nimble and confident, and lively and smooth.

A bamboo bike displayed at the Design Museum.
Image: A bamboo bike displayed at the entrance of the Design Museum.

Bamboo Bicycle Club conceived the idea to combine high-tech, open-source 3D printed components, with low tech, naturally sourced bamboo tubes. Teaming up with Oxford Brookes who specialise in the testing and analysis of 3D printed technology, vital expertise has gone into the realisation of this project.

Using 3D printed, carbon fibre reinforced lugs and bamboo frames, the goal is to prototype an open source bike that can be easily replicated by anyone.

The UltraBike Demonstration:

The UltraBike kit mounted on a bicycle and ready to use.
Image: The UltraBike kit mounted on a bicycle and ready to use.

We had a demonstration of the UltraBike with our participants and got to understand how the technology works in real life situation. The sensors detect at a range of 8 metres though this setting can be changed to suit the specific requirements of a cycle track.

On this occasion and as we were at the museum’s premises, we did not have a cycle track to test the full range and capability of the UltraBike but we did give all participants the opportunity to test how the kit feels to the touch, how easy the controls were to use, and how the various range settings allow the cyclist to detect things well ahead of themselves. This is a biomimicry of how bats and dolphins use sonar feedback and echolocation to find their way around.

Participant about to get on the UltraBike
Image: A participant about to have a short trial run on the UltraBike.

By giving the rider the ability to detect obstacles well ahead of themselves, the UltraBike range detection will allow the cyclist time to turn into a bend without cycling too acutely into or off the side of the track. The nearer you get to an obstacle or the boundary of the track, the higher the level of vibration. An understanding of the intricate feedback from the sensors helps the rider define the layout of the space around and this is what gives the rider the manoeuvre-ability to ride around a supervised cycle track, and in cycling clubs.

Cycle Revolution exhibition runs from 18 November 2015 to 30 June 2016.

Credits:
Handling objects property of the Design Museum
UltraBike kit, by UltraCane
Bamboo Bike, by Bamboo Bicycle Club

Note:
The Design Museum will be closing its current site on 30 June 2016, and will relocate to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, to open on 24 November 2016.

MaMoMi. All rights reserved 2016


 

 

Feel the Force Day 2014 | The Accessibility Event |

FeelTheForceDay2014

About

Feel The Force Day, Co-founded by JJ Lucia-Wright, is the world’s only film and TV conventions designed for visually impaired people, disabled people and people with learning difficulties.
Description
Feel the Force Day is an accessible film and TV event designed for visually impaired and disabled people.

Their first event, held in Peterborough in October 2013, attracted over 400 people and was the first of its kind, in the World, EVER! They continue to build their audience and had more attractions in a bigger venue for the 2014 event, Feel the Force Day: Access All Areas, which recently held on the 18th of this month. 
Star Wars actor Warwick Davis was among more than 2,000 people to attend the film and television fans’ convention. See the event featured in national media below.
Star Wars explained in touch and smell in Peterborough Event. BBC News Cambridgeshire

Each event typically includes tactile costumes, props, vehicles, TV and film related smell jars plus a few new and original ideas at each event. This year saw a remarkable turnout. See more from national media publication below.
Accessible Star Wars lets disabled Feel the Force. BBC News

Feel The Force Days encourages a fun and friendly atmosphere, so whatever your disability, get in touch and come along – carers, support workers and communication assistants will always have free entry.
 
Accessible Star Wars lets disabled people feel the force. CBBC Newsround
The 2015 event is already getting booked so check the link below for more information on booking and to contact the Feel The Force Day Team.
Book your tickets for the 2015 event, Feel the Force Day: Part III, booked for Saturday 10th of October 2015 at KingsGate Conference Centre, via this link:
Contacts
All information used permission 1st Sensory Legion, for Feel The Force Day 2014. Copyright 2014