Sunil Ketty is an accomplished multimedia artist and educator. One of his most persistent personal passions is music, his music, “the sound track to his life.” It is no surprise then, that he is exploring the nidus between art, music, design and production. This is new ground for this experienced graphic designer. What is not new is his nearly obsessive love affair with headphones. It makes complete sense then that he proposes to design original, innovative and expressive headphones as a form of individual self-expression. According to Ketty, “This device used to distribute music will now give the user a new way to self-express and communicate while in isolation.”
His initial exploration involved headphones designed to create individuality in the third dimension. The prototypes were interesting versions of mouths that projected outward both visually and sonically. They however proved technically challenging, and more importantly restrictive in their ability to create a changeable expression of self.
His current work is more subtle and versatile. Building on his experience with graphic design and 3D interface, the physical dimension is replace with the virtual space of a flexible screen, which can reflect individual mood and thought as digital display.
The headphones, which are linked by blue tooth to mobile technology can provide screen images that reflects the user’s inner thoughts to the world outside. The images can change on a whim, which allows the wearer to project content mood or even attitude to those around him, and all in the absence of sound. The concept of presenting the “anger” of Metal music or “joy” of Choral music as a silent, but powerful moving image is fascinating.
These headphones provide an interesting opportunity to express happy or sad, extroversion or introspection, or any other statement one wants to make to those around him/her. The opportunity for self expression is obvious; however, the opening for dialog created by the headphone’s visual display is an exciting invitation to communicate or share.
This is an ambitious undertaking with many design, development, logistic and technical issues that need to be addressed. Whether the product actually develops beyond a prototype is uncertain, what is certain is that this is an exciting project stretch for this talented mid career artist.
To learn more about Sunil’s work and his process please visit http://www.themisfitsaints.com/apps/blog/
As part of the second-year graduates’ Thesis Projects I course, candidates were each assigned two of their cohort to review. As students begin writing their thesis papers and constructing artist statements, this review process proves to be beneficial twofold. Students not only exercise their written critique skills, but are able to read about their own project from other voices. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting these reviews, so be sure to visit regularly for insights and photos of the second years’ progress!