Jessica Thompson

  • Swinging Suitcase


    suitcase, Arduino board, sound module, accelerometer, speaker

    Swinging Suitcase is a mobile sound piece that generates and broadcasts the sound of a flock of small birds in response to movement. Vocalizations are constructed from source clips of house sparrows, which are arranged into responses that range from single chirps to social chatter to scolding. When the piece is swung, the ‘birds’ begin to make noise, which calibrate to reflect the rate of swinging -- accelerating, and multiplying in response to the gesture of the user. Interaction becomes confounded when the gestures of the user become repetitive and the vocalizations become more complex – the ‘birds’ become ‘restless’, and what starts as prescribed interaction with a familiar object quickly evolves into an improvised game of call and response. As you ‘play’ the birds, the ‘birds’ play you.