Sound Sculpture Purrs And Meows When Viewers Get Close [Video]

Sound Sculpture Purrs And Meows When Viewers Get Close [Video]

Mew is an interactive sound piece that wants people to play with its fur.

Lin Qiu
  • 4 march 2014

In a project called SoundObject – Design Products, Information Experience Design and Visual Communication students at the Royal College of Art in London, collaborated on an art piece “to create a digital and physical object that responds sonically to people and its surroundings.” They produced Mew, an interactive sound installation reminiscent of a kitty mewling for some petting.

Using manipulated, pre-recorded sounds of a cat, Mew ‘purrs’ when someone approaches, drawing them to stroke it’s fur. As sensors detect hand motions touching its surface, the installation emits distorted ‘meows’ according to the person’s stroking patterns. If the person strokes too hard, Mew would hiss in response.

According to co-creator Emily Antenna Groves:

We were inspired to make an unusual and intriguing object that would respond to people in a surprising way. We wanted to do this by mixing up physical and sonic affordances of objects concepts and materials. Our idea was to make an object with a hint of the visual qualities of a cat, but that certainly was not a representation of one. It would then sonically respond with manipulated, but recognisable feline sounds.

The motion-sound interaction is facilitated by a system of conductive threads woven into the fur and a series of capacity, pressure and distance sensors connected to Arduino microcontrollers. The sound recordings were manipulated on Max, a media processing program.

Inside the Mew

Take a look at Mew in action here:

Albeit a wee bit creepy, Mew is certainly chicer than your old Furbie.

Source/Images/Video: ECG Design

+royal college of art
+sound installation

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