Sensory deprivation: 4D project outcome


The video is based upon experiments into psychological telepathies undertaken in the 1970s, known as the Ganzfeld Experiments. In these experiments many individual’s experience hallucinations due to the stripping of aural and visual senses. This effect is what inspired me to look at the aspects of sensory deprivation in our collaboration work and in my own work as well






Jadene supplied us with some simple textures in order for our listeners in the presentation would get a grasp of what our rooms would look like. She has used egg case material and stylised it similar to the forms shown in the anechoic chamber. 

Laura has also made a terrific scale model of what we intend to show the audience, with cut out segments to further explain the ideas. We have also decided upon having the deprivation chamber in the centre to make it that more simple, and to add to the shape’s natural form.

Sam’s audio work has come into light, creating a distortion of recorded sounds caught in the city, yet not so stereotypical sounds gives us that step closer to getting it as real as possible, due to the fact the real thing would need a love of time, effort and a grant from an art foundation costing several thousand pounds.




These are some quick sketches I produced following our development into one solid idea this afternoon. As seen in the first image, we have decided upon three separate rooms the observer will go through.

1. The Overload room: this room will consist of several microphones attuned to the people’s movements in the room, and speakers which will distort and overlap the sounds of the subjects voices, footsteps etc. until the audio becomes unrecognisable, and will also become less incoherent when less people are in the room. the solid, reverberating walls will echo and heighten these sounds.

2. The Deprivation room: Once the user has had a long enough experience of the overload room, they will then enter a room with the main priority of stripping the sounds from the room. to do this we have thought of replicating the foam wedges as seen in the anechoic chamber. Hopefully the observer would have an experience, where the ears have to adjust to the loss of sound, being stripped away.

3. Tea room: this room is rather self explanatory, designed for people to converse about their own person experience with the piece over a brew and a bourbon.

As we honed in on different ideas we have refined them a lot more. with The overload room, we have started to look at different possible shapes of the room. we have decided upon a circular room (as seen in the top right of the second image) for two major benefits, being this will allow for better reverberation and secondly will allow the spectator to go through to the deprivation room in their own time and feel less linear. We have also toyed with the idea of seating arrangements in the second room, in order to heighten that feeling of lonliness and possible “egg seats” in order to cut off peripheral vision, further adding to that solitude and the shape of the foam egg will allow the sound to be dampened even more 


The World’s quietest room


The World's quietest room

when looking at methods of absorbing sounds, there is no other better reference than the sound dampening technology shown in ‘the worlds quietest room’ the shape of the foam walls quickly ‘sucks’ out any frequencies of sound and there is no reverberations. I think we can learn a lot from this method and possibly look at designing our own textures from this.
The anechoic chamber strips the sound from the room, and prolonged periods of time in the room have been known to cause hallucinations and prolonged periods in the room can cause nausea and claustrophobia, with some being able to hear their blood circulate around their body. Below is a clip from the TV quiz series QI, where presenter Stephen Fry records clips of himself in the Anechoic chamber, and a contrasting Reverberation chamber, made to amplify sound. This is a great and humorous example of the effects we are trying to obtain

Janet Cardiff – 40 Part Motet


Another example of how the overlaying of sound can create something harmonised or distorted. the individual speakers play an individual singer, and together make a choir, yet as the listen walks around she gets an uncomfortable variation of vocalists as they wander around the room. This has given us the idea of overlapping common sounds of the subject in our piece and possibly overlapping or distorting anyone who walks through our piece (footsteps, coughing etc.) and playing it back to them



with the addition of another member to our group (Jadene Van Dyk), this heightened the feeling of ambiguity and confusion to where to take this project further as we all looked at different outcomes and possibilities. Jadene was interested in looking at the aromatic prospects of sensory overload, yet we felt that the task would be far too difficult to accomplish due to the human inability to smell very well, and the fact our better ideas for smell consisted of chucking bin bags into a room. A fresh re-evaluation was needed to bring it further once more.
We decided to stick to far more developed human senses, and sight and sound were more prominent. We thought of adapting sounds that would be found in the modern day city such as the traffic passing, overlapped voices in the markets, or the sound of the greengrocer on Queen Street hollering “Strawberries, a pound!”. Anything that would convey the clambering aura of the city, but also give the sense of an overwhelming discomfort. After a large discussion, mainly brought forward by Laura’s wisdom, we came to the conclusion that the sounds of the city was too much of a cliché, and bit too simplistic for something that was going to brought forward as possible sound art.
The light aspect of things was looked as as quite a front runner at first, but once again we thought of the aspect as quite cliche, corresponding to sticking a person in a dark room, flashing a few funky lights at them whilst playing some distorted sounds and calling it ‘an experience’. We have come a lot more closer to what we want, yet I think we need to look more at other artists and other experiments to further our own developments