Networked with the internet, a 3D-printed ear appropriately titled, Ears After All, explores what it means to be a machine. Created by Saurabh Datta, a multimedia artist who incorporates science, technology and philosophy into his practice, the “hearing post” is fixed to a wall and listens to anything spoken in front of it.
Upon hearing phrases, the ear goes online and searches words related to itself like “hearing” and “sounds.” As this process unfolds, observers see this action on a side projection from what Datta calls the ear’s “backend terminal soul.” To represent the audience, Datta built a speaking post that recites poems filled with words related to sound (contributed by CyRus).
To wire up the 3D-printed ear, Datta combined a hacked TP link router running openWRT along with a USB sound card, microphone, ext root from a micro-SD card, range finder, Arduino Nano, and power module. The listening station is made of an Arduino nano, mp3 module, servo, and speaker.
“We are surrounded by technologies that the majority of us do not understand,” says Datta. “They have become a ubiquitous part of our lives intentionally or unintentionally, both by technocratic as well as marketing/consumerist decisions. We intend to use these technologies without understanding a basic brief of how they govern and impact our lives and opinions.”
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