Ubiquitous Music

logo Sixth Workshop on Ubiquitous Music (VI UbiMus): From Digital Arts to Ubiquitous Music. The Sixth Workshop on Ubiquitous Music will take place for the first time outside South America, more precisely at Linnaeus University (LNU), from June 30th to July 2nd. Researchers dealing with digital arts and ubiquitous music are invited to share proposals, initial results and complete research projects. Proceedings will be in Portuguese and English. Selected papers will be included in a book published by a major European press, entitled Ubiquitous Musical Ecologies.

I will lead a workshop on DIY Audio and Electronics on the first day, and present a peer reviewed paper on day 2.

Barrass, S. (2015), Sonic Interaction Design of Pet Furniture with Emotions using the Interactive Affect Design Diagram, in Proceedings of the the Sixth Workshop on Ubiquitous Music, Linnaeus University, Vaxjo, Sweden, June 30-2July, 2015.


Musify + Gamify @ Vivid

What if things around the house that normally sit quietly made sounds? Could an inanimate piece of furniture be animated by sounds?

Patsy the Playful Pouf-doodle is in the Musify + Gamify exhibition as part of the Vivid Festival in Sydney, opening May 26.


Patsy the Designer Pouf-doodle is a musification of a piece of furniture. Patsy builds on ZiZi the Affectionate Couch which was an Ottoman Couch that purred when petted. Patsy extends this experiment through a sound design based on the sounds from an AIBO and a Roomba. Patsy is a cross between a piece of designer furniture and a robotic poodle. Pouf-doodles are vocally expressive, and may even sing along to Karaoke or X-factor on the TV. Cross-breeding with a poodle has the benefits of producing a non-shedding coat to reduce allergies. However mixing a piece of furniture with a poodle is not guaranteed in terms of the characteristics that will appear. It is important to keep in mind that when selecting your poodle mix you should research both sides to consider the personality and physical traits that may be passed on. Like all such experiments, it is important to know where your Pouf-doodle is coming from, and taking in consideration of potential adoption or rehoming is also a very good idea.

This  catalog essay describes the sonic interaction design for Patsy using the Interactive Affect Design Diagram.
Barrass, S. (2015) The Musification of Furniture in the form of a Pouf-doodle, in Bown O. and Liok, L. (curators) Contemporary Perspectives on Gamified Music and Musified Games, 2015.

Currents 2015 New Media Festival

My acoustic 3D printing works have been curated for the Currents International New Media Festival in Santa Fe, June 12 through Sunday, June 28.

Currents-PageThe annual, citywide CURRENTS New Media Festival offers Exhibitions, Multimedia Performances, Digital Dome Programs, Artists Presentations, Panels and Workshops – All CURRENTS events are Free to the public.

Join us for our Opening Night / June 12 / El Museo Cultural and the Railyard Plaza / 6pm – Midnight and our Opening Weekend Events / June 12-14

Design Interaction Environment @ Make Hack Void


This semester I ran the Digital Masters unit on Design Interaction Environment at the new Make Hack Void Community Space overlooking Lake Ginninderra in Belconnen, which has amazing views to distract you from your soldering :). Check out the fab projects below.




PoZi-logo PoZi: Sonic Posture Awareness Stephen Barrass 1pm – 2.30pm, 17th November 2014, UC-RISE Theatrette Research Institute for Sports and Exercise University of Canberra Wearable sensors are increasingly used in sports, health, fitness, training and rehabilitation. Usually the data from the sensor is collected and analysed after a session. The use of this analysis to improve performance in the next session requires communication, mental processing, memory and attention. In this seminar I propose that the ability to listen to sensor data in realtime during a session could enable faster and more long lasting improvements. This seminar will introduce Pozi, which is a wearable device designed to sonify data about body posture in realtime. The capability to hear the sensor data closes the loop between action and perception, enabling a sensorimotor approach that positions learning in the moment. The development of Pozi was motivated and guided by observations made while on Outside Studies in the Movement Science area at the Australian Institute of Sport during Semester 1 2014. I will present the design, evaluation and development of iterations of the Pozi concept prototype to this point in time in the form of an Annotated Portfolio. At the end I will open the discussion for suggestions regarding further work that could include approaches to evaluation, additional sensors, other applications and research collaborations.


PoZi V1.0 – wearable sonification of x,y.z accelerometer on cheststrap.


PoZi v2.0 – datalogging and visual LED , 3D printed case.


PoZi v3.0 – mini minimal, magnetic fix to cardio strap.

Interactive Entertainment 2014 – Fun and Games


Interactive Entertainment is Australasia’s longest running games and digital entertainment conference. IE2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the conference which is hosted this year by the University of Newcastle, Australia.

The keynote address will be given by Stephen Barrass at 9:30am on Tuesday 2nd December on the topic of “Interactive Sound and Smart Things”. (link to public Prezi presentation)

IE2014 welcomes scientists, designers, artists, technicians, students, industry and academics from across the spectrum. We encourage contributions from fields as diverse as computer science, social science, design, communication, media studies, music, engineering, health and mathematics. Anyone interested in the myriad of technologies and issues that impact on interactive entertainment and computer games are encouraged to come along and share their discipline’s perspective on “Fun and Games”.

Digital Da Vinci 2: Computers in the Arts and Sciences

Newton Lee’s next volume in his Digital Da Vinci series includes a surprising amount of Australian content, with chapters from Stelarc and Keith Armstrong (see them in person on the video :), Mari Velonaki, and Roman Danylak. Proudly adding to the downunder contingent is my chapter about recursive 3D printing of a series of bells, where each bell is shaped by the sound of the previous bell in the series.

Barrass S. (2014) The Shape of the Sound of the Shape of the Sound, in Lee N (ed) Digital Da Vinci 2: Computers in the Arts and Sciences, Springer, ISBN-13: 978-1493909643. Book-DigitalDaVinci2

“Science is art,” said Regina Dugan, senior executive at Google and former director of DARPA. “It is the process of creating something that never exists before. … It makes us ask new questions about ourselves, others; about ethics, the future.” Digital Da Vinci: Computers in the Arts and Sciences is dedicated to polymathic education and interdisciplinary studies in the digital age empowered by computer science. Educators and researchers ought to encourage the new generation of scholars to become as well rounded as a Renaissance man or woman. Amazon: http://goo.gl/vBHxWF Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/l0J9wv


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