Sound as Vibration
research

Sound is my main working material. I used to observe it as an 'end product', a material that i catch and mold by the use of digital recorders, computers and other objects that i place inbetween myself and the sound. The longer i work with sound the more i somehow feel distanced from it. How can i restore this distance? Can i grasp this matter that never makes itself visible?

Therefore in this research i investigate sound at its source, the moment it is shaped. Approaching sound as a physical phenomenon: a vibration, a wave, a variation in air pressure. 'Shaping' and 'appearing' are hereby two important concepts. How can i shape sound into a matter which manifests itself as a tangible, visible medium?

1   The physics of sound: history

It is in the late 18th and 19th Century that physicists started to gain insight in sound as a physical phenomenon. The history of the study of sound within the natural philosophy forms the starting point of my artistic research.

In a first phase i decided to re-enact a series of very basic historical probes. As a guideline i used the writings of John Tyndall, "Sound: A Course of Eight Lectures" (1867).

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The historical probes were set up in collaboration with GUM. Thanks to the endless dedication of Danny and Roland during the summer holidays of 2019.
 

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After a long period of testing, failing and setting up again, we managed to re-enact and film six historical probes. They give us a wonderfull insight in the magical properties of sound as a physical phenomenon.

VIDEO DOCUMENTATION
(soon online)

Stills from "Historical Probe 6: Kaleidophone"
 

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2   In search for new images of sound

The historical experiments showed me a glimpse of the visual properties of sound as a physical phenomenon. We therefore had to use mirrors, lightbeams, lenses and vibrating tuning forks. Still i wonder if i can find other outcomes, if i can bring sound in contact with materials that share the same ephemeral qualities and as such create images that touch upon the same poetry.
 

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