by Linda Cooper
Adam Donovan’s work combines the highly specialised field of scientific acoustics with the visual arts. Donovan has been researching focused acoustics and acoustic lenses since 1996 drawing on scientific research in this area to create interactive sound installations. Donovan’s interest in using lenses in his artwork evolved while he was completing his Fine Arts Degree at Griffith University, Queensland.
“The initial attraction to lenses was in their beauty and later formed into ideas about human perception and memory. For me the lens is an infinite model for my work, lenses represent the collecting of information/emotion and define a person’s view of the world. This model of perception led me to think about other senses. Auditory awareness was of particular interest because it’s secondary to vision. It became an obsession of mine in 1996 to find a way to control sound (or focus sound), I wanted to sculpt sound in space and change they way people perceive their auditory environment,” comments Adam.
Scientific collaboration has been an integral part of the work enabling him to gain the skills and expertise needed to develop prototypes for exhibitions. In this unusual area of interdisciplinary art practice, Donovan has found himself at the forefront in developing new and innovative methods of incorporating applied physics with installation art. Donovan’s collaborations are also challenging for the research scientists he works with as he is often asking them to extend the boundaries of currently available technology and their (usual) uses
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