Whats The Last Synaesthetic Art Installation You’ve Seen?

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Now I know “synaesthetic” may sound like a made up word, but its definition goes as such – Surreal visuals and an engaging soundscape create an immersive space capturing the essence of motion, color and sound to visualize a synaesthetic experience of letting go and losing oneself in the creative process.  This is exactly what “Collide” has managed to do. “Collide” is a site-specific installation commissioned by Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco.  It is an interesting exploration of the senses by transforming recorded motion data into abstract visuals and sound. By mixing, reversing and eliminating restrictions of time and space, a new vision of the human body and mind is discovered. The work is a multisensory experience exploring the subjects from an emotional perspective, examining the feeling of being immersed in the creative process and attentive to the present moment as the senses combine and become one.

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“Collide” was inspired by the phenomenon of synaesthesia, the union of senses. The digital art installation combines original chamber music and painterly visuals to reinterpret recorded motion data and act as a conductor for the musical score composed for the installation.  The 62-foot long digital ribbon screen situated in the lobby of Dolby Laboratories, acts as a window into a dream-like and abstract creative world. Ephemeral figures emerge out of a colourful void and fade into a surreal environment where movements appear in an abstract landscape of shape and colour. Using the onsite 54-channel speaker system, sound travels through the space, immersing visitors as they become part of the experience.

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Following the inspiration of a collision of senses, visuals of the piece have a core influence of the composition and performance of the music. Stemming from a curiosity of an experience in virtual reality that affects the physical world, a soundscape was created using virtual reality as a compositional tool and source of inspiration.  To record the composition for the soundscape, a trio of cellists wore virtual reality goggles to immerse themselves in the abstract visual world of “Collide”. The musicians played the compositions written for the piece while the animations took the role of conductor. The animations provided visual inspiration for the musical score by dictating dynamism, intensity, rhythm as well as melodic figures. By separating the visual and acoustic reality, the players were isolated in different visual worlds while playing in the same physical room. Visually they were separated by the format of the animations but were connected by the collective sound audible in the room in that moment to create a new format for compositional performance.
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Creative Direction: Cedric Kiefer
Design: Bernd Marbach
Production: Imprint Projects, onformative
Research: Christian Loclair
Audio Composition: “kling klang klong”
via behance
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