Patrick @ TED

On the 28th of the month, as part of the GE Imaginarium at the TED Conference in Long Beach California, I exhibited, with the support  of James Gordon (co-programmer) and Joseph Cancellaro (sound), “Symphony”, which sonified the projected energy usage of a residential power grid over a year’s time.

In short, two sliders on the screen showed the day of the year and the time of day that would be selected by the visitor.  Now, based on the yearly data, Symphony calculates the potential chance an appliance might be on.  If one of the five appliances “instruments” are on, a miniature model of the appliance in a model house lights up, the appliance is highlighted, and a strain of music plays.

The concept behind the piece is an alternate to visualization where the user can have a pleasant ambient aesthetic experience that still gives an intuitive readout of the residential energy usage.  In addition the installation can have multiple “themes” attained by merely swapping out the music files and light programming.

Many thanks to Eyebeam for making this opportunity available.