Project: Data Sonification

This project catalogues ways that use sound to ‘visualise’ (aka: sonify) data. That may sound really abstract and complicated, but pop over to the site and you might be surprised. What’s fascinating about this area is that it crosses over science, sound/music and art.

One of my favourites, that brings data sonifcation to life, is the Royal Festival Hall’s singing glass lift by Martin Creed, Work 409. It was installed in 2005 and is still taking visitors up and down the six levels of the building. Bringing smiles to everyone who gets in. As Word 409 producer, Neill Quinton, explained: “Aurally, you’re hearing a complete representation of what is going on spatially.”

The project has it’s own Twitter account: @DataSonify.


Radio casts a shadow

Radio frequency shadowTurn your shadow into a radio frequency selector and volume control over at the Barbican whilst there’s still time. The interactive art installation, Frequency and Volume, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at the Curve is on until 18 January and is definitely worth going to see and play with.

Lozano-Hemmer has used the entire length of the exhibition space to create a giant radio. Explained as follows in the guide blurb:

“…the space, participants’ shadows are cast on the wall. Monitored by a video tracking system, each shadow tunes in to a radio frequency, changing channels as it moves around the gallery. The outline of a projected shadow affects the tuning, while its size controls the volume, thus the human body becomes an antenna able to tune into different frequencies. The resulting sound environment is a continuously evolving composition created by multiple contributors.”

Still puzzled? Here is a video of the version Lozano-Hemmer created in 2003 at Laboratorio Alameda, Mexico.

Admission is free. More details here.