Fabric, Aluminum Sticks, Photo resistors, 2 Speakers, Max/MSP&Arduino
The Seashell Refuge is an interactive instrument that users can wear on his or her head to listen to the sound of streets in Beijing. These seemingly chaotic sounds (the noise of cars driving by in Beijing, the sound of talking at places I used to hang out with friends) change based on the user’s movements. When I wear the shell, I feel a sense of warmth and safety, surrounded by the sounds of my home. At the same time, when others from different cultural backgrounds wear the shell, the sound which make me feel comforting might confuse and disorient them, as they may be unused to living in such a chaotic environment. These divergent uses of the shell displace the fear, confusion and nerves—my own sense of dislocation after moving to a foreign country—onto the user, although those who share my cultural background might feel at home in my shell.