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Sonic City

Sonic City

Bhakti Duran / USA
Texas A&M University

Sonic City is an immersive environment installation focusing on the human perception of space through the manipulation of spatial sound. The immersive environment integrates spatial sounds recorded from the various streets of Hong Kong and the reconstructed city model. A participant can navigate the virtual city with a virtual reality helmet and a hand controller. We define our perception of our worlds by our relationship to space. Like our own modified sonar, the way we spatially locate sounds within our environment tells our mind what sort of place we are in. This is a very subconscious feeling. Hearing is not one of our major senses that we can easily turn off, and because of this our brain is always processing sounds spatially. The visuals usually overpower any thought of what sound is doing to us in our environments. Sonic City aims to flip this relationship around. Instead of guiding ourselves through our environments based solely on visual cues, we let the sound guide us. The subconscious trait is brought forth to the foreground. Using this audio guidance will force our minds to think about the relationship of how sounds spatially build the world around us in our brains.