In 2019, three iterations of the School of Fish project were commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota for their First Free Saturday and Sensor Friendly Sunday (SFS) programs. SFS is specifically a monthly event designed for kids, teens, and adults with sensory processing differences, autism spectrum disorder or developmental disabilities.

School of Fish
There is value in exploring proprioception; in gaining an awareness of our bodies’ relation to its spatial surroundings, particularly in regards to the vibrations, latent frequencies, and invisible sonic elements of space. Resonating sound waves are capable of touching the entire body, resulting in unique, internalized experiences that facilitate self-reflection. School of Fish is an interactive sound installation that was developed in response to these notions. Within the School of Fish environment, people can learn together how sound acts in unpremeditated contexts, experiencing the free coalescence of form.

Together with my friend and collaborator, Jaak Jensen, we designed a multi-channel array of sonar sensors and loudspeakers that responds to individuals’ movement. The technology allowed us to map a room with multiple sonar sensors, so that depending upon how/where a person moved in the space, they produed varying audible results. 

School of Fish decontextualizes and complicates traditional notions of music pedagogy and performance. It emphasizes the ways in which play and natural movement can contribute to music-making and rejects the idea that musicians and composers must possess formal musical backgrounds. 
Mark