Research Concerning the Phenomena of Acoustic Shadows

Acoustic Shadows was inspired by Frank Dufour’s research regarding auditory perception of moving objects in space.  During this research, he discovered that listeners, placed in a diffused sonic field, could be aware of the presence and movement of silent objects in this environment.  This awareness is acquired by the perception of the slight transformation applied to the spectrum of diffused sound, by the presence and movement of these objects.

While Frank Dufour is currently participating in traditional scientific publications on the subject, our installation renders sensitive this research and discovery :  We propose that art is the indicator of complexity in the human perceptive system.

Link & Abstract of Work | Publication Journal,  ‘Sound Effects, an Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience’

This paper examines the question of auditory detection of the movements of silent objects in noisy environments. The approach to studying and exploring this phenomenon is primarily based on the framework of the ecology of perception defined by James Gibson (Gibson, 1979) in the sense that it focuses on the direct auditory perception of events, or “structured energy that specifies properties of the environment” (Michaels & Carello, 1981 P. 157). The goal of this study is triple:

-Theoretical; for various reasons, this kind of acoustic situations has not been extensively studied by traditional acoustics and psychoacoustics, therefore, this project demonstrates and supports the pertinence of the Ecology of Perception for the description and explanation of such complex phenomena.

-Practical; like echolocation, perception of acoustic shadows can be improved by practice, this project intends to contribute to the acknowledgment of this way of listening and to help individuals placed in noisy environments without the support of vision acquiring a detailed detection of the movements occurring in these environments.

-Artistic; this project explores a new artistic expression based on the creation and exploration of complex multisensory environments. Acoustic Shadows, a multimedia interactive composition is being developed on the premises of the ecological approach to perception.

The last dimension of this project is meant to be a contribution to the sonic representation of space in films and in computer generated virtual environments by producing simulations of acoustic shadows.