Phonos: A Live Audio Escape into Another World

Who: Jake Levin + Amar Bakshi

Session Title: Phonos: A Live Audio Escape into Another World

Description: What does it mean to share a live, public, unmediated audio environment with someone somewhere around the world? Shared_Studios will describe their work with Phonos, a free, unmediated, live aural link between disparate publics. Installed at ground level, passersby can talk to those in a distant location or just listen to the sounds that surround them. When we connect to others around the world, what dynamics are at play? What are the political considerations in live audio pairings between locations? What is the power dynamic between countries with significant economic disparities? What are the voyeuristic implications of hearing a public place that is 3000 miles away? What are the educational opportunities (can you take an audio field trip)? What impact does the audio quality have, and who controls the volume? Who gets to choose which site a community hears? Who, if anyone, is listening in a central location? These are all questions we hope to explore in this presentation at Listening to the City. An accompanying interactive installation will be set up at MIT for participants to engage with.

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