School of machines, making & make–believe

How can we expand our soundscape horizons through experimentation with different materials? How can that translate to and affect our perception of sound in virtual worlds?

  • / 24. July - 4. August 2017 (Two-week Formal class)*

  • / 7. August - 17. August 2017 (Two-week optional Residency for class participants)*

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

  • / Up to 10 participants accepted

  • / Based in ACUD MACHT NEU


Course Description

*Note: This program has evolved into a half lecture course, half residency program. In addition to attending our two-week intensive course, you have the option to continue your work here in a two-week intensive residency as you work towards the creation of a final project for exhibition.

Augmented Ear Reality is a workshop led 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.

This workshop will take you from the inticacies of the ear to the surface of the skin and the resonance of spaces on a journey through the new possibilities in sound experience design that have emerged through the boom of virtual reality.


  • Intensive Two-week Course Fee*
    €675 (artists/students/freelancers)
    €775 (professionals)

  • Two-week Residency Fee*
    €200 (artists/students/freelancers)
    €250 (professionals)

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: Skin, Bones and Organ vibrations.
-Ultradirectional audio technique
-Molding of ears and body parts. Alginate, Silicone. -Explore the architecture and mysteries of the hearing apparatus. -Create your own binaural recording rig (dummy ears)
-Playing with the vibrational and acoustic properities of an exotic range of natural or synthetic materials, shapes and structures for the design of innovative wearable listening devices.
-An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators in the field of sound installation, virtual reality sound design, audio experience design.
-An independent creative project for online portfolio and public exhibition

Course Outline

Two-week Intensive Course: Introductions, concepts, narratives, play, and critical discourse.
Binaural Field Recording Techniques
Molding and Casting of your own silicone ear
Binaural sound recording
Ambisonic sound recording and decoding
Alginate based Silicone Ear making
Tactile Sound Electroacoustics
Exploration of vibration through materials
Multichannel Tactile audio practice
Material acoustics, aesthetics and listening interface design
360 sound mixing techniques
Immersive listening experience design
Facebook 360 workflow
Sound Artistic process and project making
Recording and Mixing of original compositions
Innovative Listening Interface Making
Speculative documentation of individual creations
Feedback session

Two week residency:
Research, preparation, and making of piece for final exhibition show.

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.

Highlights from instructors previous work

In the Eyes of the Animal For this project Antoine Bertin in collaboration with Marshmallow Laser Feast created a virtual reality experience with binaural sound design. It enables users to encounter a forrest in a brand new way. A 360º film, it is an artistic interpretation of the sensory perspectives of three species natural to the site.

Through the Ears of the Bats This collaboration between Antoine Bertin and Marshmallow Laser Feast is an audio instillation that allows users to experience echolocation and hear the world from the perspective of bats.

Of Insects and Men Helene Combal-Weiss along with Studio Marlene Huissoud created this sculptural artifact made from honeybee bio resin and glass. This project is an exploration into how natural and industrial materials can compliment one another and potentially influence the future of craft-making.

Parasite Video piece by Helene Combal-Weiss in collaboration with Hélène Kugelberg, Artur Turkuli, and Sebastian Buchholz. Weiss writes, "A parasite is known as «the one who eats at the table of another one». Hybrid systems offer various possibilities of symbiosis and ambiguous combinations."

Extracommon Video piece by Helene Combal-Weiss with Joost Dingemans, Kees de Haan, and Wout Stroucken. This work showcases how even a simple video can be made interesting with editing techniques.



  • 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.