Chair the difference

Feb, 2004

I combined super low frequencies between 5 Hz to 20 Hz, which we do not sense in everyday life, and the sound that wave transducers in one’s body create to produce the sound environment that cannot be made by speakers nor woofers. My intention in this work was to reconsider the definitions of sound waves and tactile senses. More specifically, I set 2 sound channels for the headphone and 32 channels of oscillation date for wave transducers, which are 34 channels in total. In addition, I prepared the chair and system for the audience to actually experience this sound environment.

Inside the blocks of balsa arranged in matrix, there are wave transducers. Each transducer receives independent sound signals to create different vibrations. Besides the stereo sound through the headphone, two computers play 34 channel music data.
The distinction of this work is that it turns audible sounds into vibrations, and give the audience the new experience.

In the chair back, there are wave transducers creating oscillation that is perceived not only as touch but also as sound through bone conductions and bodily fluid conductions. It enables us to have unusual experience and to listen to the sound not through our eardrums. In addition, the sound changing depending on which part of the body the transducers touch, and body localizations by 32 channel panning enable the oscillation to become very complicated and to reach the artistic expression.

At the same time, using a headphone makes us to listen to the sound we usually ignore. For example, when 10Hz of sine curves, which are inaudible sounds, are being produced, you cannot hear anything in usual occasions although you may feel something. However, with oscillation being created, the sound conducted through the body interferes with the sound through the eardrums, and makes one feel a kind of illusion. It is different from the binaural beats, but is as if there is the interference taking place in one’s neck or chest.

This work enables the audience to become aware of super low frequencies that are insensible in everyday life.
I also used turntables as a controller, so that when someone sits on the chair, he can play the sound and experience the work in his timing.
This system enables one to scratch the 32 channel oscillation data and the 2 channel sound at the same time.
The design of the chair was necessarily done based on the theme of the work, which is 32 wave transducers with a headphone, and the interference of super low frequencies in the inner body sound.

Additional information
This work could not have been completed without the support from Mr. Keiichi Togawa and Mr. Arauchi Kaname (chair design) from the architectural