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Tracking You
About the artwork

Interactive Sound Installation

In the encounter with Tracking You you are not a distant observer but an active participant and noisy play, freedom and movement replace soundless, invisible surveillance. The Tracking You installation uses real-time location tracking technology and wearable capes to create a performative relationship between the work and the participant that establishes a visual and auditory dialogue between work and audience, a dance between technology, art and people.

Visitors are invited to put on capes featuring the latest real-time location systems technology.  When they move around the installation sounds are generated as a result of their speed and their location in relation to other visitors. Each cape creates very different sounds – big and monstery, or tiny and tinkly – as they move, and nothing when they’re still. When players get close to each other a laser like shooting sound is triggered. Within seconds of putting on the capes, players ‘got’ the game — adopting characters and body language based on the sounds, shaking their shoulders (that’s where the tracker tags are, so you can create more sound that way) and devising ‘zap zap’ fighting games.

Tracking You is based on a Real Time Location System, RTLS, a tracking system used by, among others, the military, car manufacturers and grocery stores. Six sensors are placed so as to form a quadrangular space containing five capes augumented with an advanced RFID chip that via the tracking sensors tells a main computer where the capes are located. Participants can choose between five beautiful silk capes printed with a digital pattern in different colours. Each cape has its own sound profile and participants can develop their own playful interactions.

Tine Bech worked with Ubisense, a technology company who combine an ultrawideband (UWB) technology platform with a real-time software solution. This live indoor tracking system was ‘hacked’ and altered with permission.

Programmed by sound engineer Tom Mitchell.
Supported by Ubisense real time technology and the Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE.


Victoria and Albert Museum, Sackler Centre, V&A Digital Art Festival, London, UK 2012

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