Auditory Data

Made by Kaalen Kirrene

To represent date in an unclear way

Created: November 2nd, 2015

Auditory Data by Kaalen Kirrene
Kaalen Kirrene -


I created a radio talk show that represents data through a musical chord where each note represents a different data point. If the data showed an increase the note would get louder but if there was a decrease the note would get quieter. I then talked about the data afterward telling the people what they should have heard. I used audacity to generate the tones and used the envelop tool to manually raise and lower the value of different parts of the notes. I used my headset to record the audio and I wrote the script myself. 



The idea here is that the representation of data is so unclear and muddled that the listener should not really be able to to tell what is going on and then by telling them what they should have heard the listener will most likely just agree because they did not understand the data. What happens  is that when people do not understand something and do not particularly care about something or do not want to appear dumb will just agree with any observations made about the data. By making the data purposefully unclear I can say basically whatever I want about the data afterward and people will have a hard time challenging it. 



I suppose I was influenced by Cloud's project as he also included volume and as a way to represent his data. This project would fall inline mostly with a news station or commercial that is trying to sell some biased information. 



Outline your approach to the project.  How did  you arrive out the outcome? What did you research and explore? What were the design choices? What challenges were encountered and how did you resolve them? Document design decisions and challenges encountered.

This project was particularly difficult to come up with and execute. Due to my stubborn determination to make every project and audio one I really had to wrack my brain for how I could actually represent date through sound. I considered doing audio and visual in tandem but I realized that my visual abilities are somewhat lacking and I did not want to do jsut another boring graph. I then had the idea to do a news cast but that required a great deal of video skill so I figured I could split the difference by doing a radio show. The next step was determining how I wanted to represent the data. I thought about the beauty aspect of the project and was immediately drawn back to my chord generation. I then tried to think of how I could lie or obscure information and figured if I hid my data in a way that made it hard for people to understand I could then use my voice to convince them of a conclusion. That is how I landed on volume of notes in a chord.



Reflect on the process of making this project. What did you learn? What would you do differently?

I learned that I do not know how to navigate data websites. I ended up just using google to find the data I wanted. Also I learned that in order for changed in volume of notes in a chord to be audible they have to be incredibly dramatic. When I first made it I really could not hear any changes so I went in and fudged the data to make the changes in volume more dramatic. 

In terms of my pleasure with the project, I did not really like it that much. I wish I had a better idea of what to do with this project and how to make it audio but nothing really came to me. I considered just describing graph and making people get lost trying to visualize it but I thought that was too obvious with its concealing of the truth. If I were to do this again and it would be my only focus I would try to make a video where I could combine audio recording with visual representations.



"10 Year Music Consumer Trends Chart (2008)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of America. 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008.

Share this Project


To represent date in an unclear way