3D Audio, A Protest Tool

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, It Will Be In Binaural

The latest news out of Washington has me thinking: Where does sound feature in the role of a protest?

From Dystopian fantasies like Terry Gilliam’s 1985 classic ‘Brazil’ to Tom Cruise in ‘Minority Report,’ it seems it isn’t mere coincidence that the government’s go-to tool for surveillance is video and damning suppression.

Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Terry Gilliam’s 1985 film “Brazil”

Even a quick Google search gives us the usual “Russian Think-Tank App Catches Protestors Before they Protest” or “Foreign Government Internet Blockades.” Tech has a trickle down effect, leaving the powers that be with a super-human edge and the protestors with an arsenal of rummaged rack sacks, stones, and hearts of passion.

As media outlets scrape through twitter feeds scavenging for biased hope or power abuse, it seems the balance is beginning to shift as rioters are able to record, document, and share whats going on it the inside.

What happens when, as citizens, we are able to properly document the sound of a riot or passionate march chants? How will this change our perspective? How will this shape our opinions as a community? How will the media embrace this?

It’s clear that over the past five years, protestors have mastered the art of social media to win support and further their cause. Even when governments have attempted to suppress or track activities, applications like Firechat or hotspot shield companies like AnchorFree have emboldened the protestors to lay down their rocks and poster boards and reach for their phones.

Video cameras have always been part and parcel of a good march, but they’ve always looked from the outside in. Now the camera angles have switched sides. We’re getting a new perspective. Though both angles remain highly curated and source-biased, the intention to convey the truth and a set of facts persists, somewhat curbing History’s tendency to distort events.

In moments of conflict, as cameras face the ground, while their holders run from various oncoming threats or ISP access gets blocked from a possible mobile electromagnetic pulse — we still have our ears.

Audio occurs all around us. Sound waves travel, but they do not run. It’s tricky to “photoshop” an audio recording without it immediately being identified as corrupt.

Moving away from right and wrong, good and bad, justified or abused, I look to audio, and the way we record it, to help bring us one step closer to a less biased story of what happened, where, and when. Binaural recording will be this bridge and Hooke will be there when it happens.

From One Ear To Another,
Anthony Mattana
Hooke Founder

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