The Funkenschnorkel (corrupted German, adapted from “broadcasting snorkel”), by Andrew Zoz Brooks, is a backpack loudspeaker system for exploring the process and results of empowering the individual with control of the audio environment around them.
It was inspired by protest demonstrations where people are more likely to join in if the critical mass is already present, and unlikely to add their voices if the basic groundswell is too weak.
Anyone with a mobile sound amplification system can exert a disproportionate effect on a group or space. The system is also equipped with audio input files that allows for an interesting array of effects: crowd noises can be fed back in unorthodox fashions, and other audio effects used to create a virtual soundscape that does not match the physical reality. And of course pre-recorded music and the wearer’s voice can be used for performances that would not otherwise be possible in a mobile, unsanctioned fashion.
Funkenschnorkel is intended to be used in conjunction with an iPod for recorded input, allowing both pre-sequenced and dynamically chosen audio behaviour on the part of the wearer, and a microphone with spatial effects to allow the wearer to project his or her voice, or the voices of others.