School of machines, making & make–believe

How can experimentation with materials change our perception of hearing and sound and allow us to discover new narratives for virtual worlds?

  • / 5 June - 30 June 2017

  • / four weeks, full-time in Berlin, Germany

  • / 10-15 participants accepted

  • / Based in ACUD MACHT NEU


Course Description

Augmented Ear Reality is a workshop lead by sound artist Antoine Bertin and visual artist Helene Combal-Weiss. They meet in the design practice of sensorial experiences. Their hybrid creations merge auditory and tactile senses in the completion of objects, installation and participative experiments.

Leading an exploration of materials, shapes, human body, binaural recordings, interactive audio, and listening practices, participants are taken on a journey to reveal new and unexpected sensations.

Our listening reality is intimate, tactile, spatial, social and temporal. Using creative, analog and digital means of bending the sense of hearing, students are invited to explore the idea of a sound-driven virtual reality. Listening through the ear, listening through skin, listening through bones: through the creation of wearable ‘ear accessories’, the group will devise original strategies of blurring the boundary between the virtual and the real.

Who is this program for?

This workshop is geared toward artists, designers, musicians, and anyone interested in experimenting with tactile materials, and the possibilities of storytelling with perception and 3D sound.

After taking this course, you'll walk away with skills in

Binaural recording techniques and 360 audio mixing

Interactive sound design with basic Max/MSP skills

Tactile audio

Ultradirectional audio technique

Molding of body parts : with plaster, alginate (more materials like varaform meshes, silicone, etc.)

Playing with natural and synthetic materials, shapes and structures for wearable hearing devices

Understanding of material acoustic properties (absorbent materials, papers, textiles, foam sheets, cork, leather, wood, balloons, reflective materials, plastics, metals..) shaping properties ( shape memory polymers, casting aluminium in sand, heat shrinkable materials ...) moving properties ( jelly, rubber...)

Creative video editing (Introduction to greenscreen, time-based and distorsion techniques)

An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators

An independent creative project for exhibition

Course Outline

Week 1: Introductions, concepts, narratives, play, and critical discourse.
Week 2: Immersive sound technology introduction and experiments
Practical experiments with moulding ears, interviews, audio massage
Week 3: Wearable hearing devices design- hacking / bending senses
Recording, composing, filming
Week 4: Final show fabrication
Scenography of the experience

  • Early fee until 1. May*
    €1350 (artists/students/freelancers)
    €1650 (professionals)

  • Regular Fee*
    €1550 (artists/students/freelancers)
    €1850 (professionals)

  • Special fee for residents of Germany: 10% if registered by May 1st.
    *Includes materials, use of space and professional mentorship



  • Antoine Bertin /

    Antoine Bertin is an artist who listens his way around the boundaries between documentary and fiction, the poetic and the political, the living and the artificial.

    His work consists of audio narratives combining elements of broadcast, walk, sculpture and publication. Weaving technology together with storytelling, he is curious about our relationship with the environment, the ‘unreachable’ and the idea of progress.

    Born in 1985, trained as a sound engineer at ENS Louis Lumière and graduating with an MA in Sound Art from London College of Communication, Antoine currently works in London, Brussels and Paris.

  • Hélène Combal-Weiss /

    French designer and video artist, Helene Combal- Weiss leads an approach to visual media like she does with materials and techniques. She explores and experiments on their possibilities to create illusions and reveal narratives.

    Her work spans accross disciplines such as moving image, scenography, product, fashion design and curation. She’s been part of the design of experience studio team of Nelly Ben Hayoun, worked with Bart Hess and co-founded the design driven film studio IMMATTERS. She is an active member of the french community based project Bureau Pilote.