The images below were from an exhibition of Haptic Voices at InterAccess, Toronto in 2023
Haptic Voices, designed by Jim Ruxton, gives VibraFusionLab an opportunity to explore taking the technology it has been developing into hybrid online and real space venues. This greatly expands our reach, accessibility and leads to new artistic and technological advances. For this project we worked with partners Centre for Artistic and Social Practice, InterAccess and Tangled Arts + Disability where we have placed our 10 channel vibrotactile wall. Visitors to the project have been able to stand against the walls in these locations. The vibrations in the walls have been controlled by online participants who are encouraged to vocalize into the microphones on their computers and this sound was be played through the vibrotactile transducers on the walls. Online participants have also been able to control the position of the vibrations and have them move around through the channels. We have experimented to find the best interface or way to control the position/channel of the vibration. This could be done either through intensity, frequency components of the voice or through an interface controlled by the participants' mouse. VibraFusionLab commissioned four acclaimed composers to create sound works specifically for the wall - Toronto composers John Gzowski and Ravi Naimpally, Hamilton composer Edgardo Moreno, and Deaf Irish composer Ails Ni Riain as well as Jim Ruxton. By using vibration as the final output, Haptic Voices is equally accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing communities to experience the wall. With a camera in the gallery facing the haptic wall, online participants have been to view how they are interacting with participants in the gallery. VibraFusionLab has not previously engaged with an online audience, marking this major installation as the first of its kind, transporting global ‘voices’ into an immersive tactile body experience. The exhibition essay Haptic Voices: Slow Technology in Motion by Eliza Chandler was commissioned by InterAccess.