Synopsis Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) is a sound device now commonly installed in alternative fuel vehicles. It simulates the noise emitted by gasoline and diesel car engines when they are running to give the pedestrians outside an appropriate warning sound. Countries around the world have incorporated the requirement that “all alternative fuel vehicles must be equipped with AVAS” into regulations, and further require that “AVAS must emit continuous noise of 56-75 decibels when alternative fuel vehicles are running”. In order to promote innovation, brand competitiveness and users’ driving pleasure, automobile manufacturers around the world are working with artists and sound engineers to create simulation sound waves on AVAS and to define and create a brand-new street’s sound scene that is completely different from our previous auditory experience.
Director’s Statement This surround installation consists of 3 screens and 6 loudspeakers, on which video portraits of 15 blind children are successively displayed, recording their reactions when they first heard AVAS simulation sound waves. The accompanying sound installation is further edited from simulation sound waves created by the car manufacturer, with reference to each blind child’s live feedback. The video attempts to explore how our cognition and experience are formed in the perception of images and sounds. The project also attempts to raise the question of whether these simulation sounds can be used by real blind people?