Walking machine, by Jessica Thompson, is a portable audio piece designed to enable wearers to move through the streets hearing and broadcasting the amplified sound of their own footsteps in real time.
By broadcasting the sound directly as a result of his or her own motion and gesture, the wearer becomes controller, performer and audience (and a Minister of Silly Walks?). The effect is that of a private game in public space, where movement and gesture become a means of articulating presence and the simple act of walking becomes both legitimized and liberated through technological intervention.
The piece consists of two lapel microphones modified to clip to low-cut shoes, a mini amplifier and a set of headphones.
Sonic shoes: the Siren Shoes which make a loud noise when both feet are on the ground at the same time; the SEVEN MILE BOOTS have two different modes: when walking, the wearer strolls through the net, when standing still he/she can listen to several chat rooms; the ClickSneaks look like sneakers, sound like high heels and Ephemeral Gumboots, a human/computer-dance/music interactive system.