Fahmina Ahmed
Site Specific Sound Installation
February 2013
I wanted to create a space that was visually and aurally disorienting by playing with the viewers sense of visual and aural harmony and dissonance

Sound by the talented Dan Rome. For more work by Dan Rome, visit his SoundCloud

Creating Dissonance

I created visual dissonance by establishing multiple perspective points. I covered the entire room in a 1' by 1' grid and placed forced perspective boxes in the 3 primary colors along 3 difference planes of the room. There is a visual conflict as your brain registers the perspective lines of the grid alongside the clashing false perspectives along each colored plane.

Sound artist Dan Rome helped me create aural dissonance by designing a 6 speaker surround audio piece that was full of discordant clashing tones and white noise. Each speaker was embedded inside of one of the boxes so that the boxes were sources of both visual and aural dissonance.

Creating Harmony

A jitter program was the conceptual and technical bridge between visual and aural harmony. Whenever a viewer walked over to one of the planes marked off in one of the primary colors, their perspective of the grid would line up with their perspective of the forced perspective boxes.

Cameras' lines along each of these planes registered the interference caused by someone standing along the plane and sent this information to the speakers. The speakers along the corresponding plane then stopped playing the dissonant soundtrack and started playing a pure harmonic sine tone.

Pressure sensors were placed at the intersection of two places. If a viewer stood at these points, multiple boxes would line up in perspective and play sine tones that would harmonize with each toher.

As a viewer walked along the planes, they could experience the harmony of finding where the clashing perspectives line up and create a sonorous melody as they triggered the video cameras and pressure sensors.