"Visualizing Sound" Shannon Collis

Workshop, "Visualizing Sound"
Shannon Collis
 (Art, University of Maryland)
Collis is a Canadian artist currently residing in Baltimore, MD. A graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Collis is also completing research at Concordia University in Montreal in the area of Digital Media and Computation Arts (Fall 2013). Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Maryland, where she teaches Digital Foundations and Print Media. Her studio practice focuses on creating installations and interactive environments that explore various ways in which digital technologies can transform our perception of audio and visual stimuli. Her work has been exhibited across North America as well as in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Collis will present a workshop on visualizing sound, while some of her MFA students produce a site-specific sound exhibition in Tawes. The workshop is similar to one Shannon has done in the past: she creates a sonic-visualization space (see photo below) in which participants touch their way around a screen that creates a collective acoustic composition. 

WORKSHOP SUMMARY (Soundlines) or Visualizing Sound
This workshop is the latest in a series of ongoing experiments based on research into early drawn-sound techniques used in experimental music and film. Drawing on the rich history of graphical sound synthesis, this project will develop interesting ways to make audible the visual qualities of the hand generated mark. Participants are invited to draw images onto a surface that covers a series of sensors, generating differences in incoming light to control the quality of diverse sounds. The rendered imagery modulates sound depending on particular characteristics of the mark (e.g. size, shape, opacity). The system allows participants to actively draft an improvised ‘visual score’ by applying and erasing medium on a surface. In this manner, each participant becomes part of an ever-changing, collaborative sound ensemble. Soundlines explores the sonic expressive potential of visual phenomena and highlights the possibilities of interactivity in perception.