Perhaps seeing sound is not as much of a novelty as it once was. We’ve seen plenty of works that bring sound into the visual plane, for example, ones that utilize cymatics, using substances that react to sound and are left with an imprint of its movement.
Korean artist Jung Ja Suh’s recent solo exhibition Seeing Sound, however, uses an interesting source for audio—the audience—and adds a new element to the mix—words.
As viewers enter the exhibition space, they are confronted with a large, glittering blue cylinder with a plethora of small speakers surrounding it. The sound from the hustle and bustle of visitors is received and transferred into the cylinder, at once making the sound of the audience part of the artwork. As the speakers absorb the sounds of the viewers, the bits of text within the cylinder respond and dance in a whirlpool pattern. Additionally, the movement of the text is recorded in real time with a video camera, providing another avenue through which to experience the visual aspect of sound.