Reading Response #5

While sound is recognized as one of the more influential senses, aside from music, sound is most often combined with images for an audiovisual experience. I think one component of this is engagement as we can more easily filter out sounds or noises than avoid focusing on an image right in front of us. However, it would be simplistic to underestimate the emotionality and feeling that is tied to sounds. Sounds are created by vibrations moving through the air, thus sounds and especially loud sounds can be physically felt. Feeling vibrations is the basis for a lot of technology created for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

As we briefly touched on in class, the physical feeling of sounds also impacts how we feel emotionally. Alan Nakagawa’s interactive piece with the balloons and ear plugs immediately made me feel a sense of fear and dread, even though my ears were covered for most of the piece. Once sounds get into our heads I think they become much more difficult to rule out because sounds often surround us so there’s no option to turn away or imagine a different sound.

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