Project 4 Final Part II

Marble Run


This series is a study on the movement of a sphere, reimagining a carpark space as a elaborate marble run. The compositions encourage the imagination of movement through the form of the build and architecture of the space. The start and the end of the series suggesting a loop of going back to the starting peak of the run. The imagined movement also suggests a sound scape the the metal ball creates as it travels through it’s path.

Technical Decisions

The images were shot with long exposures due to the low light conditions of the carpark. This resulted in flaring from the fluorescent light sources and thus most of the post processing was to bring the highlights down. I also desaturated and adjusted the curves for the metal balls to pop out from the compositions. A general green/warm hue is applied throughout all the images to make a more coherent colour scheme. The following are the images in the After (above) and Before( below) followed by the adjustments for each image.








Final JPEG Images can be viewed here


Evan Grant: Making sound visible through cymatics

Cymatics is a vibrational phenomena that consist of visual waves that are formed by the movement of sound waves through a medium. This is a term that was coined by Hans Jenny (1904 – 1972) and still continuously explored in the current times in the search of expanding the visualisation of sound. The most prominent experiment was the physical formations of cymatics by Ernst Chaldni as displayed below.

These formations were created by placing sand on top of a metal sheet and the metal was stroked with a violin bow. The frequency created by the vibration from the bow was translated both into sound and into physical sand formations that are organic and mathematical at the same time.

Throughout the talk Evan Grant introduces the idea of how there is data in everything we see and interact with, and how Cymatics is a first step in accessing that data. We can now visualise the frequencies of sound into a tangible and pictorial form. He introduces current applications of this research in forms of oceonography where scientists are capturing sonic records created by  dolphins and how it’s being recorded as language.

Cymatics is a factual and accountable approach in visualising sound, however it is limited in terms of it’s ability to express the human cognition of sound. Sound and emotion is still a phenomena that is extremely hard to visualise. Sounds we hear on a daily basis is a mash up of multiple frequencies and tones that create complicated structures that hold various positive and negative emotions. That being said, classifying a sound to an emotion isn’t a natural cognition but a constant conditioning of our experiences and daily interactions. I personally feel conflicted with the ideal of visualising sound as it’s a highly subjective experience. Often certain visuals can bring out the idea of a sound more accurately than the cymatic representation of the same sound. With the emergent of sound artists and music visualisation techniques, I look forward in seeing the gap between factual/mathematical visualisation and expressive visualisation close in as we try to unpack the magic of sound and it’s visual language.