Usurp + Disinformation – सूर्य किरण – [Promo]*

Another fine video from the Institute’s AHRC Research Fellow Joe Banks (Disinformation):

Film copyright © Joe Banks & Poulomi Desai 31 Oct 2011
Headphones or external loudspeakers essential

The Canadian psychologist Albert Bregman’s theory of Auditory Scene Analysis describes how the human mind is able to identify, focus on, isolate and extract streams of actually or potentially meaningful sound information, which it recognises as emanating from discreet sources, using analysis of what amounts to the musical content of specific “melodic streams” within environmental noise. In terms of evolutionary biology, the theory suggests that our capacity for appreciating music may have evolved at least in part as a by-product of the mechanism that enables us to identify sound-streams that come from, say, a distant river, particular types of bird-song, or the call of a potentially hostile predator etc; and in human communications this faculty is most obviously in evidence as a contributory factor in enabling us to perceive individual speakers in crowded social environments (the Cocktail Party Effect). In terms of everyday experience, the isolation of such streams may seem deceptively simple, but in information theoretic and signal processing terms, the level of computational power required to extract such invariants* from the distorting influences of complex and rapidly-changing real-world sound environments still challenges engineers and computer scientists. Problems associated with extracting invariants from noisy environments are of particular relevance to air traffic control, military fighter and helicopter communications and battle management systems. Generalities aside, the soundtrack used in the Disinformation + Usurp “Sun Rays” film is a direct recording of the real sound-ambience of the film’s location, “composed” using sharp graphic-equalisation only, to reproduce the subjective experience of the melodic streams that were perceived in the extraordinarily atmospheric ambience of that underground space (and, totally coincidentally, the title of this film, which is taken from the footage itself, is also the name of the Indian Air Force military aerobatics demonstration team).

Filmed in New Delhi, Oct 2011. (J. Banks, IMCC Westminster, 1st Nov 2011).

*The term “invariant” was coined by the American psychologist JJ Gibson

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