#Phonar Session One Task – “Alienated Sensory Mash-up” (and Reflection)

Alienated Sensory Mash-Up Task:

Working in pairs if possible name yourselves “Eyes” and “Ears”. Ears is equipped with sound recording equipment (your phone will be more than adequate) and blindfolded. Eyes will lead Ears on a guided journey through a range of different environments. Ears will dictate the pace of the journey and say when they want to stop and make dedicated “sound-mark” recordings.

If you have to work alone then perhaps consider choosing an environment in which you can remain motionless with your eyes closed for several minutes. As you do so your sense of hearing will improve and you will begin to focus in on sounds that previously you’d of missed. Now search out these sounds with your recorder and build up a sound-scape of them.

For the photography aspect investigate the same environment as a photographer, responding solely to what you see.

At the end of the journey Eyes repeats the route (wearing ear-defenders/plugs) responding to the visual stimuli.

You should end up with a landscape story and a soundscape story. This content should then be uploaded for everyone to share and mash-up. In next week’s session we’ll be combining soundscapes with image-based journeys and layering them with other people’s to make new artefacts. You must license this content as CC BY-SA or CC-BY to enable us to do all of this.

Take time to load up your content with as much information as possible such as the time, location, weather, your mood etc , all of this is information that can be dispensed with if not needed but has the potential to add value if included.

– JW

Upload your images to the FLICKR Phonar group and tag them #phonar

Upload your audio to the Soundcloud Phonar group and tag with #phonar 

Once you have uploaded your audio and images, place a link and brief description in the comments section below
You can also share in twitter via the hashtag #phonar and on the forum, but please ensure you have placed your links in the comments below.


Preparation for Task:

I, Holly Constantine, will be “Ears” – the person equipped with sound recording equipment and blindfolded who dictates the pace of the journey and decides when they want to stop to make dedicated “sound-mark” recordings

Lucy Bartlett will be “Eyes” – the person leading me (“Ears”) through a range of different environments and who will have to repeat the route wearing earplugs in able to respond solely to visual stimuli.

As a pair, we decided to go to three different places in Coventry as we thought that we would be able to receive a variety of interesting soundscapes from these area’s. These area’s were: Coventry City Canal Basin, Coventry Transport Museum, and Broadgate/Godiva Square.

The Audio and Photo responses for the task can be found below.


Audio from Task (by me, Holly Constantine):


Photos from Task (by Lucy Bartlett):

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Video (by me, Holly Constantine):

As you have seen above, I have included the audio recordings and images that both me and Lucy Bartlett made during this task. Below, however, you will see that I have taken it a step further and have edited through the audio and images in order to create a video response that shows the actual “mash-up” of the alienated senses recordings.

#Phonar Week 1 Task – “Alienated Sensory Mash-Up” from Holly Constantine on Vimeo.



As #Phonar’s main themes include the “Digital Age” and “Photography for the Ears”, I feel that this task was given to us as a way of showing us the importance of understanding the different techniques, resources, and opportunities the digital age is giving photographers to experiment with more immersive media, which in turn will allow us to diversify our portfolios. We need to adapt our work to the digital age.

Being “Ears” (the person equipped with sound recording equipment and blindfolded), I couldn’t help but feel on edge and very self-conscious about being blindfolded in different areas around Coventry. However, I have always enjoyed listening to the ambient noises of a place as it helps me in the identification and memorization of the place. I also found it really interesting to respond to the sounds of the different areas, rather than looking for, and responding to, visual stimuli that I am used to responding to as a photographer.

With creating the video aspect for the task, I enjoyed experimenting with adding sounds to images and I felt that it increased the complexity of the editing process by taking into consideration more than one media output (audio and visual). I also chose this way of presenting (a video) as I wanted to show the linear narrative I had created from the selection of images and audio, and I feel that videos tend to represent linear narratives better than other immersive, digital techniques through their controlled order of viewing. With this being said, however, I felt that this piece of work was very fast paced, making it difficult for the viewer to fully take in each individual photo. On the other hand, the use of audio within the video actually helps the viewer to distinguish and focus on the source of sound within the image, which means that the general reading of the image is much quicker.

I’m not sure if I would replicate this task again in the future, but I would like to spend time experimenting with capturing audio from a variety of different types of places and would perhaps incorporate these into the projects I will create in the future.

This particular piece answers learning objectives 3 and 4 (and its reflection answers learning objective 5):

  • Independently produce a photographic narrative utilizing a range of analytical and practical photographic skills
  • Show evidence of experimentation with a range of narrative forms and media as a creative method for clearly articulating visual themes, stories and concepts
  • Critically evaluate their project work and the editorial decisions made throughout this process and its commercial relevance with respect to their chosen areas of specialism.