Sculpture 1: Analog Dominant Electronic Audiovisual Sculpture

To bring out the indispensable relationship between sound and visuals. 

Visual as analog currency for sound

Sound as analog currency for visuals

Jerobeam Fenderson and his Oscilloscope Music

Jerobeam Fenderson Talking About the Concept

The cathode ray oscilloscope shows an exact representation of the waveforms of the sound. Left/right audio channels trigger horizontal/vertical deflection of the cathode ray, whereby corresponding Lissajous figures are visualized. When generating these waveforms, both their aural and visual aspects are considered, to create a coherent audio-visual composition.

In my live shows I partly use samples and structures created beforehand and partly improvise with patches on modular synths and audio programming software. Sometimes I also use different modes of the oscilloscope (trigger, multichannel, storage / afterglow of the phosphorescent screen).


My own research and interpretations

-At the start of the project, I wanted to create a system that emphasizes on the interchangeable relationship between images and sound.

-After some heavy research, I arrived at the conclusion that to pull the pieces of sound and visual together, a narrative talking about the comparison between analog and digital currencies for sound and imagery is rather interesting as well.

-In this case, my discovery, the Oscilloscope Music by Jerobeam Fenderson discovered an alternative use to the Oscilloscope, achieving analog audiovisual synesthesia through the currency of electric waves.


This sculpture will consist of an Oscilloscope and a cassette tape player hooked up to each other. Within the cassette, the sound will be engineered by me through OsciStudio and the output information will be purely sound. Images of the sound will be displayed on the Oscilloscope screen. Content of the images will contain modern day contents such as : News, academic notes , controversial subjects and more.
Some of the testings I’ve gone through



Material Studies: Vacuum Tubes

Managed to pick up a box of Vacuum Tubes for a steal. Think they can become a huge part of my analog aesthetics and circuitry. Phased out since the induction of transistor in the 60’s, the majority of electronics included vacuum tubes back in the days. They are still relevant to modern day audiophiles as only the most premium amplifiers still use these. They are said to give the sound a warmer vibe.

Research for week 7: On Modularity

Last week’s consultation directed me to zero in on the focus of making something more modular. Placement of bits and pieces and visuals and crafts can lead to different end results in creating sound.

In my first prototype( in progress) outlined in my previous post, my process shows that the assemblage could be in a way a tribute to the birth of analog music. Having a rotary system in my work reading a rotating visual of perforated holes or patterns feels pretty much like a phonograph.

Ina directed me depart more from that and go into creating a more modular construct which can create sets of different results when different modules are being removed or added.

Interesting Note: Leafcutter John, the guy giving the tutorial is one fifth of the Experimental Jazz band Polar Bear. I’ve been running through his youtube page for some interesting experimental sound tutorials that really helped me.

The following are some interesting case studies that I came across last week that triggered my idea for the second prototype:


Via Video Description

” This is a demo video of ‘SoundLightSound’. ‘SoundLightSound’ is an audiovisual performance exploring feedback between sound and light. The amplitude of the sound is controlling the density of the light. An inductor is placed on each light, transforming the flowing current into sound, feeding it to the computer. It explores the transformation of data and the feedback that can be created between different media, often resembling the distortion of information (e.g. the news) and the vicious circles created by them.”


Via Arduino Blog

“Developed by media artist Bojana Petkovic, Swamp Orchestra is an interactive sound installation that mimics the natural chorus of swamp creatures. The project is comprised of 16 light-sensitive sound modules, with each one producing noises from insects, frogs, amphibians, birds and other organisms. Each module responds to a flashlight, and the sound varies based on the amount of the light.”


Skimming through these interesting cases that made use of electrical current sounds and feedbacks, I felt that these are once again some intangible processes being brought to light.

So the next step to me naturally became: what if I can make electrical currents, in their rawest form, sing and communicate a symphony for us?

I immediately drafted a plan for multiple inductive pickups on a single board reading multiple electronic devices.


In this simple sketch, the idea of sending multiple signals to a single amp might not be feasible. Therefore, I’m thinking that it would be the best if I used multiple individual amplifiers for each pickup so that circuit noise wouldn’t drown out the feedbacks that I want from the pickups.

Process: Week 6 and Audiovisuology

For a start, some of the keywords that I rooted for wanted to be a huge part of my FYP.


From the keywords, I branched out to several more words for the quality that I want in my final work.


*3 keyword definitions from The rest annotations came from me.

Since starting my research, I’ve found some great DIY videos on the internet that helped me with experimentation. I came across one that taught me how to build a laser pickup. The solar cell I’ve clipped onto the cable produces certain electrical pulses that triggered sound in the amplifier. I found that this is something very fundamental in creating sound way back in the days.


I started out wanting to create a rotary system (similar to that of a phonograph/vinyl player). The rotary system will read the analog visuals that I’ve created. An iteration that I’ve thought of so far is a tube of cardboard roll with perforated holes and markings that the laser can pass through and create a percussive series of impulses that gets input into the amplifier output.

Then I went on to find out that my method is actually how the first recording worked.

From Audio Engineering Society

1877 – Edison made the first recording of a human voice (“Mary had a little lamb”) on the first tinfoil cylinder phonograph Dec. 6 (the word “Halloo” may have been recorded in July on an early paper model derived from his 1876 telegraph repeater) and filed for an American patent Dec. 24.


So I went on to read See This Sound: Audiovisuology and came to learn more about the history of music recording, corresponding relationships between sight and sound and so on.

Some of the notes I’ve picked out from reading the segment called :

On Hearing Eyes and Seeing Ears: A Media Aesthetics of Relationships between Sound and Image 

Birgit Schneider

  1. “Around the year 1900, currents and waves were considered the universal currency of hearing and seeing, in the 1990s, this function was taken over by the digital code, which seems to fuse genres in the “universal machine” of the computer.”
  2. There are too many ways to connect hearing and seeing to each other. This amount of artists and artworks out there testify to this.
  3. Subjective results in the perception and audio and visual relationship.
  4. Sonification vs Visualization:  1929: Fritz Winckel carried out the thought experiment of Du Bois-Reymond who asked what will happen if the separate modes of sensory perception can be exchanged? He didn’t do this to his own senses of course. He used Mihaly’s television system, which was partially mechanical and broke down images with the means of perforated Nipkow disk . The result was appealing moire like images that altered its appearance to the rhythm of the music.
  5. By contrast, Winckel was not as enthusiastic about the changing images into sounds. He felt that the sound of an image could only reveal whether it is a photograph, a black and white drawing, a manuscript, or a fingerprint.  Further test did not allow for much differentiation as well.  “synchronization beats at each line drowned everything out” due to the requirement of the technology.
  6. Patterns from music are harmoniously constructed whereas sound from image created the sound of interference.
  7. Dadaist artist Raoul Hausmann came up with an Optophone that could control not only sounds but also images at the same time. His apparatus produced sound and image simultaneously. The player can choose to engage with the output of either sense at one time or both at the same time for their artistic improvisation.


Week 6 Progress:

Initially, I figured that the digital output and processing would be important. After consulting this week, Ina pointed me to a direction that shifts more of the focus on the analog and input aspects and also to experiment with modularity. Will update as I go along.