One of my latest sketches is an EMF field detector. EM is everywhere. Electric power lines, motors, transformers, and the like. I think it would be really cool to experiment with the possibilities, especially of sonifying the output. I've been thinking a lot about resonances, and frequencies of everything lately.
The tuvan throat singers com to mind for some reason. The resonances they create in their throats of two different pitches at the same time are really incredible. You can feel it in your body, in your chest cavity. (Friends of Tuva and Scientific American.) It is said that the original throat singers were trying to emulate gurgling water and other sounds of nature. "Tuvan pastoral music is intimately connected to an ancient tradition of animism, the belief that natural objects and phenomena have souls or are inhabited by spirits." This is great stuff, when viewed through the viewfinder of modern capabilities.
Again with the tactile: "Feel it... in your chest." I think this is going to be a very important part of my final.
Also thinking about the maps class. I'm thinking I can do the same thing with the containers/environments I'm considering setting up. Filling them with water, then having speakers play sounds underneath, creating resonances. Water would be really cool, and having it gurgling and resonating to passersby - mapping out the animist nature of people as they pass by.
I put together the infrared firefly oscillator circuit. After struggling with a poor version of the circuit, I finally found this one. This worked really well, if the IR emitter and IR detector are right next to each other. I think that there must be a way to amplify the IR. How else to remote controls and TV communicate across the room? I found an infrared remote control extender here, and an infrared signal tester on the same site. The signal tester shows the most promise as an amplifier. I'll see if I can't work the two into each other somehow.
I found a really good schematic, and later even better instructions. Check out Circuit Exchange International for a really good EMF detector circuit. I was able to find everything just fine, but originally was having trouble figuring out where the actual probe was. Later I found this page, which explained that the 1mH coil was the detector. apparently. Wikipedia also explained that the detector coil is typically either single axis, or tri-axis. This refers to the three possible planes in space that it can be oriented. Between tweaking the probe, and experimenting with the the three axises, I have lots of interesting places to take this.
1 Scientific American.com. visited 10-08-07 http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00080AA2-BA32-1C73-9B81809EC588EF21&pageNumber=1&catID=2
2 Circuit Exchange International. http://www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/ Visited 10-08-07