Discarded Sound (2024)

Leon van Oldenborgh

Noise-cancelling headphones have rapidly become the new standard of audio playback in shared spaces, but what do we miss out on in this 'noise' people increasingly choose to discard?
Discarded Sound is an interactive installation that explores how expectations of behaviour in these spaces change due to the self-isolation of the people inhabiting them. The center piece of the installation is a pair of linked noise-cancelling headphones that stream their noise-cancelling to each other in real-time, effectively enabling participants to hear the sound the other participant is cancelling.
By reframing the cancelled noise as sound worth analysing Leon van Oldenborgh creates an opportunity to reevaluate our personal routine use of this everyday technology and how the mass adoption of this technology is shaping our collective social behaviour.