The ICC Kids Program 2010 “What Sounds Do We Hear?” is held at the NTT Intercommunication Center [ICC]. This exhibition focuses on “sounds” that we casually encounter in everyday life. Approximately 80% of the information humans receive from the outside world is said to be obtained through sight. However, information received through hearing is also tied closely to various sensations and plays an important role in enabling us to comprehend our environment.
What is it that our ears hear and what kind of information do we receive? How is “hearing” different from “seeing”?
The ICC Kids Program 2010 presents displays of artistic works and devices on various themes related to “sounds” that we are not particularly conscious of in everyday life, such as coordination of sound with sensory perception, relationships between sound and space and the environment, and changes in how we hear. As you experience and think about sounds in game-like situations, a new door of discovery related to hearing and sensory perception is sure to open.
In addition to improving literacy in the exhaustive modern information society, this program is also broadly suitable for researchers, educators, students, and others who have a high interest in sound art, sound equipment, and music generation programs.
What Sound Do We Hear?
JO Kazuhiro (Supervisor)
With regard to “hearing,” ecological acoustics researcher W. W. GAVER* explains that, in the day-to-day world, “we are concerned with listening to the things going on around us, with hearing which are important to avoid and which might offer possibilities for action. The perceptual dimensions and attributes of concern correspond to those of the sound-producing event and its environment, not to those of the sound itself.” In this way, in our everyday lives, we are likely to listen not sounds themselves but events occurring around us from sounds.
This program entitled “What Sounds Do We Hear?” focuses on sounds that are neither “music” nor “speech.” Through sounds, we attempt to enable people to hear the invisible dimension of our everyday life and to prompt another side of imaginable world. The collection of works and devices enable us to not only directly perceive sounds through the ears but also comprehend other senses (e.g. sight, touch) via sounds and turn awareness to sounds through these other senses.
Biologist Jakob von UEXKÜLL has said that even in the same environment, the state of something will change greatly depending on how it is perceived. Similarly, there could be states of the world that we notice through hearing and not seeing or touching. Today our relationship with information-processing equipment is being liberated from the sense of vision; through this exhibit, which produces a slight difference in how we hear sounds that we acquire empirically within our ordinary everyday lives, the children who will be the leaders of the future will have an opportunity to explore the potential of “sound” in forms other than “music” or “speech.”
*W. W. GAVER, “What in the World Do We Hear?” (Translated by OKURA Masahiro and KAKEHI Kazuhiko) SASAKI Masato and MISHIMA Hiroyuki (editors), “Designing Affordance Studies,” pp. 127-166 (University of Tokyo Press, 2001)
Enjoy experiencing various sounds in an out-of-the-ordinary space that looks like a cave and is made of multilayered cloth.
Spatial design: DOI Nobuaki (SOUP DESIGN inc. Architecture)
Materials cooperation: OmiKenshi Co., Ltd.