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Sound Installation


Philippe-Aubert Gauthier

As a first experiment of a serie on spatial sound in public spaces, “Auditory Tactics”, the sound installation, stems from a collaboration of Philippe Pasquier and Philippe-Aubert Gauthier for an exploratory work while the artists were in residency (Vidéographe, Montréal, Canada). The artists created a compact loudspeaker array for acoustical beam forming as a spatial sound platform. Using the array and specifically created Pure-Data pacthes, the hyperdirective sound beams can be steered at various angles from the loudspeaker array. The two sound artists work and explore the notions of public and private auditory spheres while producing private listening areas using the sound beams. Locally projecting a sound, a voice as an example, as it is the case for these “Auditory Tactics”, in a space populated by moving noises and voices, is connected to the general and common strategy of listening delimitation (the cut of of a private sphere, possibly secret, in public spheres, communicative). Such sound projection techniques, soon passing in the real world, will contribute to the general reconstruction process of listening and speech, auditory practices and strategies, as cultural fashionable objects. With the intentions of questionning such issues, the artists created a sound composition based on interaction with the public, fragment of altered, cutted and transformed voice samples, as marks that put communication technologies on spoken and listened language as a cultural, plastic product. The main intention is then to explore and engage the social and human evocations, behind the technological possibilities, of beam forming and new spatial sound technologies in the social field. The artists acknowledge Yann Pasco for the fabrication of the loudspeaker array.


The project was presented at Concordia University during the Pure-Data Convention in 2007.

Thanks to Vidéographe, Martin Renaud, Concordia University and Sherbrooke City for the support.


A paper on Auditory Tactics is published in Leonardo - Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology.

October 2010, Vol. 43, No. 5, Pages 426-433.


Auditory Tactics: A Sound Installation in Public Space Using Beamforming Technology


The term “auditory tactics” refers to the contextual listening attitudes and competencies adapted to various private and public auditory contexts, spheres and aural architectures. Auditory Tactics, created for the Pure-Data Convention 2007 in Montréal, is a spatial sound installation designed to interfere and play with the auditory tactics of passersby in a public space by projecting sounds from more private spheres. The novelty of the authors' work is the use of beamforming: a sound projection technology that allows the creation of directional sonic beams resulting in sonic illumination and shadow zones that dynamically interact with architectural surfaces. The authors report the results and lessons of this first artistic experiment with sound beams as a creative sound-projection method.

Video documentation:

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