Bamboo Whisper is a traditionally crafted, electronically controlled, body-worn device, exploring the theme of tactile sensory input, conveyance and understanding. The wearable translates common speech visibly and audibly through the movement of the reeds on the bamboo headpiece, as well as a providing a direct transmission of vocal cord vibration. Identical outfits are to be worn by two people or more. Their voices are picked up by sound sensors incorporated in the collars of the vests and transmitted as vibration to the bamboo headdresses creating a subtle movement and clacking sounds reminiscing a method of communication employed primarily by smaller non vocal creatures such as amphibians and insects. Simultaneously the same vibrational pattern is send to the collar of the counterpart wearable allowing its wearer to feel the movement of the vocal cords of the speaker, a sensation otherwise only possible when being in close physical contact as will usually be encountered in a tight embrace.
Receiving these fundamentally different signals of the quite estranging rustling sound, coupled with the intimate tactile vibration as the only means of communication results in a very ambiguous feeling forcing its wearer into a state of sensory exception having to reorder and reprocess his understanding and interpretation of the received input.
Form more information on Bamboo Whisper please read: Employing Creative Practice as a Research Method in the Field of Wearable and Interactive Technologies.
Artists: Tricia Flanagan, Raune Frankjær
Year produced: 2011
Exhibitions: Haptic Interface Dec 2011, Kow Loon Minh Gallery Hong Kong.
Acknowledgements: The Bamboo Whisper was created as part of the Haptic Interface Workshop hosted by the Wearables Lab, AVA, HKBU, Hong Kong.