The Talking Chair is a listening environment for three-dimensional sound, allowing participants to control the trajectory of sound through the space surrounding their body. The work consists of a frame supporting a battery of six audio speakers, a central chair, and an ultrasound wand interface. A remote audio system is linked by cabling. Seated in the chair, participants interact with the sculpture by means of the wand which generates 3-dimensional information used to produce sound and draw its trajectory. As the sound object moves, its sonic qualities change in response to its proximity to the listener, velocity and spatial location. The physical form of The Talking Chair, in addition to fulfilling the functional requirements of spatial sound projection, serves to represent a material manifestation of kinetic sound. The sculpted chair assumes a metaphorical human presence amid the arcs and curves of the outer frame which define a dynamic spherical sound space around the listener.
The Talking Chair is a collaborative project by Iain Mott, Marc Raszewski & Jim Sosnin. It was produced with the assistance of the Australia Council, the Federal Governments arts funding and advisory body. The sculpture has been exhibited within Victoria and Tasmania in Australia and at the 1996 International Computer Music Conference in Hong Kong.