Insomnia Sound Walk Reflection

Issues and Modifications

A little under a week after finishing the 4 minute sound walk about a sleep deprived person navigating a day at ITP, I’ve had some time to reflect on the walk and peer commentary about it.

A lot of the thought in planning and recording the walk went into the idea that it would be a solo experience. Neither my teammates nor I had planned on what would happen if a group did the walk together. This new dynamic made some issues with the walk and documentation apparent. It was pointed out that having a map made people too reliant on using it and even confused some people. So if the walk was to ever be done again we would not give out a map and only give a short written guide like the one below.

Updated sound walk guide.

Updated sound walk guide.

One of the issues that we had when recording the walk was how the transition from outside to inside was not immediately clear. So when a group of people did the walk together that doubt was made more apparent. Coinciding with that, Marina pointed out that there was no set beginning to the walk. For some reason it didn’t come up when our group was planning and was left as an oversight in the end. Looking back I would have liked to have thought through a beginning to the walk that was analogous to the ending in terms of its abruptness. One last thing that I would do differently for the next time is to have outside users test the walk more. Not just listen to it, but actually do the walk and then give feedback.

Positives

It became obvious after hearing what everyone had to say about the walk that the theme came across well and that the walk was enjoyable. I think that the walk had elements that really helped immerse people in the main character’s mental state. The addition of the heavy distortion on the sounds towards the end, after the locker scene, really helped to amplify the experience and make it more interesting. It was interesting hearing some people say that they enjoyed the pacing and others not enjoying it. For us the pacing felt like it was a part of the distortion and general uneasiness of the walk from the main character’s perspective.

As far as the work goes, everyone on the team was open to trying different parts of the editing, recording, and ideation which really came across in the final product. Even with the small issues in the final product I believe that with the time allotted it was a success and truly enjoyable.