Created by Gregory Carter ’13 and Adrienne Fuller ’13, Seeing Sounds explores the relationship between hearing and seeing. Carter and Fuller combined the audio recorded by visitors in the current exhibition Hearing Pictures to create this three-part composition. Since opening in June 2012, recording equipment in Hearing Pictures has collected audio of visitors creating the sounds they imagine while viewing select artwork. Carter and Fuller sifted through over 400 responses, weaving together these individual interpretations into a single, collective composition.
Carter and Fuller’s composition highlights both the range of sounds that play in our minds, as well as their surprising similarity. The piece transforms the people who recorded into anonymous participants and teases out the connections between their varied imaginings. Their private, individual experiences expand and unite to create a collective composition of mind sounds. Engineered in surround sound, Seeing Sounds permeates the elevator, feeling at times feels like a dialogue shared between individuals and at other times like a call and response.
Additionally, Carter and Fuller occasionally altered and enhanced some recordings to emphasize certain moments and connections.
Seeing Sounds raises questions about our relationship to images and sounds, investigating both the differences and commonalities in how we imagine, connect, and interpret them. Do certain images evoke common sounds? Is sound inherently more abstract than visual imagery? Does a single sound inspire a broader array of visual interpretations, as opposed to the number of sounds a picture elicits? What factors influence our coupling of images and sounds?