The Voice Harvester is an exploratory interactive installation that embodies human voice in physical materials. Sound input is amplified and transmitted through audio drivers connected to a thin, flexible membrane that agitates the material on it. The title “Voice Harvester” was derived from the fact that the installation create was able to elicit nonlinguistic, expressive, and naturalistic human vocal sounds to explore the full range of capability of the human voice through use of a novel, playful, and embodied interaction.
This design exploration took place by a team at RISE Interactive in Umeå (formerly called Interactive Institute) under the guidance of Artist and Composer Anders Lind. The concepts of human engagement, involvement, and embodiment as well as the creation of a physical tangible thing were central to this design exploration.
The object elicits curiosity and subsequent interaction utilizing the unusual appearance and leveraging tacit knowledge within users of the purpose of microphones. When a user speaks (or makes any sound) into the microphone they will see the materials in the acrylic tubes animate with the physical embodiment of their voice. The intent was that once this happens users will continue to engage and interact with the Voice Harvester to see the different ways in which they are able to manipulate the materials into action.
The Voice Harvester is built as part of a series of interactive installations shown in Umeå, Sweden as part of the Umeå 2014 Capital of Culture; it has been exhibited at the MADE festival 2013, at CHI 2013 (Human Computer Interaction Conference) in Paris and at the Swedish Embassy in Berlin, in 2014.
Co-created with Anders Lind, Music Composer, Umeå University.