In the beginning of twentieth century, the idea of correlating sound and visual forms became more compelling; from clavier à lumières of Alexander Scriabin to Arnold Schoenberg-Vasily Kandinsky encounter. However, it was only with the advent of new technology in the second half of twentieth century that the possibility of real-time interaction and synthesis of sound and visual has become at hand. Today, the so called audio-visual art is the result of coming together of two old classical worlds, visual and sonic, through mediation of digital language. Digital language itself has made possible a translation of all sorts of signals into each other i.e. we are now able to visualise or sonify all sorts of raw data. This phenomena is new. But, before asking what this new possibility of mathematically mapping all sort of sign waves into each other, translating electromagnetic waves into acoustic waves and vice versa, can bring us, we should examine what cognitive capacity, what perceptual potential, is engaged. Is it only people with synesthesia who experience a blend perception? or all our cognition is in essence embodied and thus linked? When all symbolic meanings is put aside, what is the immediate experience of audio-visual?
Audio-visual art offers an embodied unified sensory experience that alters our conscious and redefines space. In respond to blatant question of whether audio-visual is subject for our hearing or our seeing, one should strongly answer both at the same time. In audio-visual one can not separate sound and visual from each other without disrupting the essence of this new art, this is the measure of what audio-visual is. In the audio-visual art, the relation of sonic and visual stimulus is no longer a simple one, but a new language is created for decoding, decrypting, deciphering, revealing and then again concealing, reinterpreting, imagining, evoking a fleeting moment of what might present itself as the real or as the true. This new language articulated by intertwining space, sound and image has now become medium as well as mediator of new ways of dialogues.
This project is an experiment of this new dialogue. This piece blends two mediums together, sound and visual, so that these two play with each other. The visual part is result of an artistic pursuit and painterly experience that has transformed painter's mind set. This project is portraying this new mind set. That is why we name it “Refactor”. The core of this project is a computer program based on evaluating, reviewing, reflecting and reinterpreting painter's practice of art making. The outcome of this self-reflection is turned into compositional algorithms that can be formulated mathematically, so that their sequential outcome forms a dynamic network of computer codes. These computer codes are making possible painterly experience without the painter, a painting factory without any need for painter's presence or control. These computer codes recreate process of image making and control painterly quality of this realization on a dedicated visual platform. The visual platform “Refactor” is an interwoven spatial-visual-aural sculpture that redefines space through arrangement of generated recurring images and sounds; images that go beyond conventional static white walls of a gallery and travel through these platforms. Images passing through layers of semi-transparent semi-reflecting metallic net are multiplied in space. Visual images are immersed in the soundscape and sound are emerged from visual images. Painting become sound and fade away from our sight like sound.
The soundscape is not made beforehand; sounds need to be created, the connection of sound and visual take place exactly from this need. Mathematical algorithms of the painter's mind are brought to life by mathematical algorithms of the sound artist. Movements of painter's hand, his color pallet, his playfulness, his excitements become input parameters for a modular sound synthesizer. There only two predefined parameter sets for sound: microtonal intervals based on forgotten musical intervals of Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi (1236 – 1311) and the designed relation of noise and sin waves. The movement of sound in space intensifies the painter's hand movement for each visual object, and movement of sound between visual objects represent painter's wandering between images.
Vedad FamourZadeh, Nikzad Arabshahi