Sound Fossils

Master of Philosophy (October 2012 – December 2013)
Materialising the immaterial: Sound and memory as intimate personal adornment.

People Involved:
Gerbrand van Melle – MPhil Researcher
Prof. Welby Ings  – Supervisor

In the project that forms the site of this creative, practice-led thesis, personal audio recordings are translated into intimate physical adornment. In so doing, the potential of visual music and second order cybernetics are used to develop a new experience that synthesises sound and visual components into material form. In this aesthetically potent environment, the research engages with digital ontology, sound visualisation, sampling methods, and generative design practice.

The idea explored in the thesis is that objects are continuously changing processes in time. Through parallel iterations of sound recordings, sound sprectrum analysis, generative model making, and materialising methods, temporarily intimate representations of the world around me surface and are re-composed. Emerging design work implies a semiotic polyvalence that is realised through a process of techno-transformative and generative methods. As such new patterns are created, comprising single parts that are restructured into rhythmic patterns. The individual samples do not act as quotes; instead they operate as generative material for systemic combination.

This design aims to act as a provocation; its purpose is to trigger an audience to consider the potentials of personally significant sound as a form of unique, material adornment.

Read Gerbrand’s article, Sound Bites: A work in process in Design Assembly’s Design Research Series.