Assignment 2: “Suspended Motion” by M Haris Usmani (2013)

Assignment,Max,Software,Submission — Usmani @ 8:28 pm


Suspended Motion is a setup that tends to make the user believe that he/she is in a state of motion on a spinning chair, while in fact for most part of the experience the user remains stationary. It is based on a Philosophical Theme revolving around Scientism.

Today, we all live in the Age of Science and we embrace everything that science brings with it. Just look around and you will find that we are surrounded by technology that was just science fiction some decades ago- but this sometimes tends to make us believe that Science is the most authoritative worldview: it has all the answers to our questions and it alone can explain the true inner working of the universe- only science can answer how the universe came about, how we evolved or what our purpose in this world is. Suspended Motion gives a different perspective on the topic.

Suspended Motion consists of a rotating-chair (in fact any rotating chair) where the user sits on the chair, wears a headphone (preferably wireless, or hold your laptop as you spin) and follows the instructions on the sound clip (link below). He is first instructed to close his eyes, spin the chair and observe how the sound field exactly matches his current position. This is done by angular position data sent to the laptop via OSC from an iPhone’s Compass attached to the chair. After about 40 seconds, the user is instructed to give a final push and to set off in a decelerating rotation. The user focuses on the sound, and experiences Suspended Motion for the last 25 seconds of his spin.


This is more of an ‘experience-based’ instrument so I would urge you to try it yourself using the following setup. You can always hear the audio clip, just to get a sense of how things go.
Audio Clip (Disclaimer: Lock Howl-Storm Corrosion from the 2012 release “Storm Corrosion” is the copyrighted property of its owner(s). )
MAX Sketch
Ambisonics for MAX
Compass Data via GyroOSC (iPhone App)


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