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Visualisation and artistic emulation of sound

2. Artistic Approach

Saturday 23 December 2006, by admin

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Image from Sculptor (2001) music by Curtis Roads, with artistic visualization by Brian O’Reilly.

We can consider artistic representations of sound [1]. We can also consider visualisation of sound as an emulation, as developed by Alain Berthoz [2]. He exposes the hypothesis that the brain emulate, i.e. re-create internally the world more than representing the outside world; dreams and hallucinations aim to prove it, as an internal re-creation of the outside world. Our role here would be to re-create a visual world based upon the auditory world (or vice-versa in the case of image sonification), thanks to a set of high-level parameters extract from the sound. Our role would be to transpose the emulation concept on the area of artistic creation, to re-create worlds by a mapping from sound to image, from an area to another. In that sense, the question of emulation could relied to transduction according two meanings:

  1. How an energy passes from a medium to another medium (here of sound towards the visual one), moreover possibly transmitted by gestural transducers: changes and mapping of scale are essential.
  1. How two terms (the sound, the image, even the gesture) interact between them and emulate each other.


[1] P. Couprie, séminaire du GRM , du 12 décembre 2002 (consulté le 25/04/05).

[2] A. Berthoz, La décision, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2003

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