Wetnerk: an invitation to engage with local computer networks through sound

University essay from Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: This paper presents Wetnerk, a Research through Design portable local computer network sonification artifact designed with a Reflective Design approach. Wetnerk explores how we might sonically engage with local computer network characteristics. The aim is to reveal hidden qualities of a local computer network, normally undetectable by human senses. Specifically Wetnerk attempts to invite people to engage in novel ways with their local area network. It does so by probing the network ports, analyzing the result from an information security perspective and subsequently sonifying the results. A preliminary pilot study indicates that people are so unaware of local computer network characteristics that they have trouble perceiving any of its qualities beyond its mere existence. Wetnerk shows promise in supporting people to critically reflect on and question this low awareness. In some cases curiosity is ignited sparking a desire to further engage with qualities of a local network in more novel ways than the current norm.

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