Justin Ascott

Since we interpret the world, to a large extent, through the sieve of language, I was very interested in this art project to use as my starting point “words” - exploring graphically and symbolically, the way in which the brain creates meaning from words through the electro-chemical interaction of neurons. MRI scans have demonstrated that various parts of the brain are activated simultaneously in the creation of meaning when we speak to one another, or think internally, and I was particularly interested in representing this complex, dynamic process in an abstract way through the interplay of shape, movement and colour, showing the indexical relationship to linguistic stimuli. I wanted to abstract language in this project so that it would be perceived purely as a vocalized sound vibration denuded of any referents. I achieved this by using an online random text generator to produce paragraphs of nonsensical text which I then pasted into an online text-to-voice translator. By modifying the voice, rate, pitch and effect parameters of the translator I produced a spectrum of vocalizations to simulate a cacophony of voices suggestive of an internal stream of thought. The resultant sound files were then linked to a filter in Adobe After Effects animation software called Audio Spectrum which transposes the sound fluctuations as real-time movements in image files - in this case comprised of organically shaped vector paths placed in 3D space and rotated. The animation in its final form is intended as a poetic representation of the processes of consciousness.


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