There will always be something irreplaceable about the silent contemplation of a great painting. However, there is opportunity for that relationship to be pushed further so that the presence and actions of the viewer affect and change the artwork itself. My interactive sound and painting act in concert to create a living being, resonant and reactive. The inspiration for this work comes from my own personal experience of improvisation in music, and the experience of listening and creating at the same time. It is my hope that this type of interactive artwork can lead towards a similar interactive process.
In making my interactive sound work, an important consideration was to make it function in conjunction with the painting, creating a unified piece. The design and creation was a long process that included spending time in the studio playing various instruments and studying their relationship with the paintings, as well as testing a number of different computer algorithms. In the end, the sound creates multiple overlapping sound lines that merging into a cloud of sound, inspired by György Ligeti’s micropolyphonic sound clouds of dense musical textures.
The focus of the work is on the experience, listening and interacting; therefore, the hardware for the sound is hidden to allow the viewer to focus on the unique experience, rather than the technical facilities. The sound carries a heartbeat like rhythmic pulsing that continues regardless of the presence or absence of viewers, as a living being does not cease to be when we are not near to it. This pulsing is low enough that one can remain outside of the sensor space and quietly contemplate the painting, accompanied by the rhythmic heartbeat, or the viewer can become an interactant and enter into the reactive senor space.