The Walls Have Ears

“Sit back and allow the words to wash around you like music…”

– Mrs Phelps, from Roald Dahl‘s Matilda

An interactive installation that overhears real-time verbal data from surrounding spaces and generates a collection of words spoken over time which can be later played with. 

This verbal data can be snippets of conversations people have within a space which outputs as interactive words displayed on wall-mounted touch screens, and on a big clock that shows a selection of words from the previous hours. It collects a database of words informing us about the kinds of conversation that have been spoken within the space. Each tablet used in the installation communicates to the clock via SpaceBrew.

The installation runs on open source platforms such as Processing & Spacebrew and uses a projector and multiple touchscreen tablets for display. The words captured are first converted from speech to text and then filtered as verbs and adjectives. The individual words are then broken down to letter forms that can be played with on the tablets. Spacebrew is used to receive these words and collectively display them as a word clock using a processing sketch.

The idea is to create a space that reflects the character of conversations happening within it while providing creative stimulation and inspirational moodboard for the people in it.