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Making the invisible audible: Sonifying qualitative data

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Published
Publication date18/09/2019
Host publicationAM'19: Proceedings of the 14th International Audio Mostly Conference: A Journey in Sound on
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM
Pages124-130
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450372978
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event14th International Audio Mostly Conference: A Journey in Sound - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 18/09/201920/09/2019
Conference number: 14th

Conference

Conference14th International Audio Mostly Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNottingham
Period18/09/1920/09/19

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference14th International Audio Mostly Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNottingham
Period18/09/1920/09/19

Abstract

We describe how Embosonic Sketching, a novel approach to qualitative data sonification, was employed in the design of a sound art installation. The method was conceived to minimise designer bias in the creation of sound artworks which seek to faithfully represent the lived experience of a sample group. The 'Her[sonifications]' project was driven by the notion that much exists beyond sight, yet remains undiscovered, and explored bringing the unseen to light through the transformative medium of sound. We ran a series of workshop and focus group sessions to engage with women from a range of backgrounds including artists, writers, designers and researchers to explore how we could harness the emotive qualities of sound to communicate the visceral experience of womanhood. We contribute insight into how Embosonic Sketching can be employed to enrich the process of qualitative data collection in group-based settings; to produce sound sketches to inform the sound design process; and most significantly, to create self-actualised sonifications of visceral and experiential phenomena. Our findings demonstrate that Embosonic Sketching is a useful and accessible tool for exchanging ideas about sound and promotes heightened participant engagement with participatory design processes.