Interfacing biomusic and autism: what are the everyday ethics of representing the physiology of what moves us

Renseignements sur le financement
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
  • Type de subvention: Subventions Connexion
  • Année: 2016/17
  • Financement total: $25,000
Mots clés
Chercheur(e) principal(e)

Aucune organisation partenaire n’a été touvée.

Sommaire du projet

The purpose of our project is to support a citizen-led initiative to create the first autism-friendly city in Canada. The increasing global prevalence rates of autism, associated stigma, and resulting social exclusion requires innovative collaboration across different sectors of society. In this three-day initiative, we bring citizen stakeholders together with engineers, universal designers, academic scholars, and industry representatives who have vested interests in the technological manifestations of physiological states, in order to explore the productive uses -- and potential misuses -- of biomusic in creating inclusive communities. Biomusic, the translation of physiological signals into music, has been shown to increase the personhood and presence of vulnerable individuals who do not communicate in expected ways. We will explore the potential benefits of using biomusic as an assistive technology for communication across diverse abilities to communicate and to increase acceptance of neurodiversity. We will host our initiative in spaces intended to reflect the intersectoral character of our project. Our outreach initiative begins with a public town hall held at Salon 1861, a space for social innovation situated in Little Burgundy neighborhood in Montreal in which local community stakeholders, many of whom are parents of children with autism, will present on their current work related to developing an inclusive city, including the challenges they are encountering. On the second day, the community stakeholders, along with leading scholars in the humanities, social and natural sciences, will learn about and experience biomusic technology at the Montreal Science Center and Museum of Fine Arts. These events will anchor dialogue across public and private, scholarly and lay languages on the potential benefits and challenges of using biomusic in everyday life. Finally, we will close with a public forum discussing and synthesizing the results of the initiative at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, Schulich School of Music, McGill University. Our three-fold objective is to provide 1) real world solutions by cutting across the silos of science and art, public and private, non-profit and commercial entities, in order to 2) be at the service of citizen-led initiatives, in which 3) scholars, emerging scholars and students across academic disciplines can generate new ideas in a stimulating context where the accountability of research to actual everyday concerns is a priority. Expected outcomes include 1) a citizen-informed design brief for biomusic technology, which includes considerations of everyday ethical concerns or types of tensions created during interaction with others when what individuals consider the best good come into conflict, 2) enhanced curriculum and learning experiences for students, and 3) expanded collaboration and research partnerships to support autism-friendly city initiatives.

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