©Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.

17th Entertainment Division Grand Prize

Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989

Video work, Website, Media installation, Sound work

SUGANO Kaoru / YASUMOCHI Sotaro / ORAI Yu / Nadya KIRILLOVA / YONEZAWA Kyoko / SEKINE Kosai / SAWAI Taeji / MANABE Daito [Japan / Russia]


Honda’s car navigation system “Internavi” designs drivers’ journeys using vehicle log data. Sound of Honda / Ayr ton Senna 1989 used Formula One data from 24 years ago to bring an Ayrton SENNA race back to life in sound and light. The data from the then world’s fastest lap, achieved by SENNA in the qualifiers for the F1 Japanese Grand Prix in 1989, was digitally reconstructed and analyzed. By matching this up with recordings of MP4/5 cars, reproductions were created of the engine sounds at the time. Installing speakers and LED lights along the 5,807-meter long Suzuka Circuit, the reproduced engine sounds were paired with motion data from the race. On a website, the 1:38:041 lap time was recreated in 3D computer graphics using WebGL (an API for displaying 3D graphics in a browser), enabling viewers to experience SENNA’s performance online. A smartphone app also allowed drivers to enjoy the sounds of SENNA’s lap in their cars.

Reason for Award

The concept of trying to recreate SENNA’s engine sounds from a one-page graph of driving data recorded by Honda engineers was interesting in itself, and the video work depicted the arduous transformation of this into the giant installation. Just listening to the sampled and tuned engine sounds brilliantly elicited memory data stored away in the depths of the viewer’s mind, bringing it back to life in your head. Gradually you have the illusion that you are actually there, while watching the minute adjustments of the accelerator based on throttle data evokes images of SENNA’s feet on the pedals. Both the team’s attempt to “move people through data” as well as the actual results were highly praised. The work demonstrates that strong basic data stays fresh in spite of time, and independent of the vicissitudes of media it can be a source for continued creativity. (IWATANI Toru)