Listening to the Ocean on a Shore of Gypsum Sand is a collaborative project between Gene Kogan, Phillip Stearns, and Dan Tesene. Seashells are 3d printed from algorithmically generated forms for the sole purpose of listening to the “ocean”. The project questions the role of experience in the mediation of the virtual world to the real world and visa versa.
For those of us who have had the experience of listening to the sound of the ocean in actual seashells, it is a questions of lived experience shaping an approach, not only to the object (or world) at hand, but how it is perceived and acted upon. Are we to trust these shells? Do we seek out natural shells for comparison?
To those for whom their first experience of listening to the “ocean” through the digitally produced shell, the question becomes one of how the first encounter with a virtualized and simulated reality shapes the experience of lived space. This virtual shell is all I know of the real, until I encounter those found in nature—and when I see this natural shell, what then is my experience of? More broadly, how does mediated reality form our preconceptions of the world?
For some, these questions seem obvious—we may even have convinced ourselves that we have this all figured out. We are aware of the possibility that the virtual world and real world are two interacting identities, distinct ideas that maintain their individuality despite their mutual influence on one another. There is, however, a possibility that this distinction is fading with younger generations, as technologically mediated experiences permeate childhood. I wonder about the effect of this as they grown into the world.
This project will be on view at Soundwalk 2012, a sound art festival in Long Beach, CA on September 1st 6-10pm.