@#$%^… is an interactive installation that aims to make abstract data more accessible to audiences through means of data sonification. The project was derived from the view that environments are self-containing systems where the individual and the whole are merged together into a single organic cell, after which the individual’s perception is skewed by his/her surroundings, and is unable to completely break free of the environment that he/she has become a part of.

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@#$%^… utilizes environmental data collected by sensors in various cities throughout the world, and maps this information accordingly onto ambient city noises recorded in said cities. The composited audio results are then displayed in real-time through stereos that are fully immersed in semi-liquefied silicone material. Encircling each stereo are six mechanical claws that open and close in correspondence with the sounds, and in the process, attempt to open up the surrounding material and let out the muffled urban noises.

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Audiences will be provided with stethoscopes to probe into the sonic environment of the installation and listen to the “cries” that are suppressed and entrapped within.


Exhibited in National Musuem of China, Beijing.

Silicone, Electronics, Mechanics, Recorded Sound and Digital Synthesis

Tian Li, Guo Haoyun, Guo Yao, Vivian Xu (China)

Supported by: Tsinghua University, Parsons The New School for Design, School of Art, Media and Technology


Concept Sketches


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