Synaesthetic Syntax II
Seeing Sound / Hearing Vision
Submission deadline: 30th June 2021
Symposium details: Sunday 12th September 2021, Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria (online)
Submit papers here: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ea2021
In the age of pandemic, our previously normal experiences of human touch and intimate proximity have become mediated by the screen rather than felt directly. We can no longer hear live music and feel the sonic vibrations; see a painting’s texture in close proximity; become immersed in the events of live theatre or engage in debate: these events are now bounded by the flat rectangular screen and limited by the extent of the pixels in our screen’s resolution.
Under these conditions, how can animation, in combination with music or audio art, re-engage us
with bodily sensations received through the senses?
Coming together as a series of online events, this year’s Expanded Animation (http://www.expandedanimation.com) symposium at Ars Electronica continues a dialogue about relationships between the senses, in particular the auditory and the visual. What are the rules, principles, and processes that govern correlations between sound and animation? How might these embodied sensations be explored, unpacked and reassembled in our age of virtual communication intensified by COVID-19?
The symposium is jointly organised by Dr Juergen Hagler, Ars Electronica, University of Applied
Sciences Upper Austria, Hagenberg and Professor Dr Birgitta Hosea, Animation Research Centre,
University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK.
• Professor Rose Bond, PNCA, USA
• Dr Max Hattler, School of Creative Media, CityU, Hong Kong
• Laura Lee, Audio Research Cluster, UCA
• Dr Vicky Smith, Animation Research Centre, UCA
• Dr Harry Whalley, Audio Research Cluster, UCA
Keynote Speaker: Refik Anadol
Our Keynote Speaker is media artist, director and pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence, Refik Anadol. His body of work locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines. In taking the data that flows around us as the primary material and the neural network of a computerized mind as a collaborator, Anadol paints with a thinking brush, offering us radical visualizations of our digitized memories and expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the body in motion. Anadol’s site-specific AI datasculptures, liveaudio/visual performances, and immersive installations take many forms, while encouraging us to rethink our engagement with the physical world, its temporal and spatial dimensions, and the creative potential of machines.
In response to these themes, we call for academics and artists to propose 20-minute papers that bring the disciplines of music, audio art and animation together from a variety of perspectives: from historical, theoretical or critical perspectives to new and surprising practice. If the paper is practicebased, it should include reflection and contextualisation in addition to presenting the practice.
The proposal should include an abstract of no more than 500 words (including references) and a short biography of no more than 200 words. Submission is via Easy Chair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ea2021 where you will be
prompted to set up a free Easy Chair account. In the field ‘Title and Abstract’ please enter the text for both your abstract and your bio. Do not submit a web link instead of a bio. This information can also be attached as a PDF document.
List of Topics
Suggested topics include:
Hearing Colour Seeing Sound
Can music become visual? How did pioneers of visual music such as Oskar Fischinger and Mary Ellen Bute translate melody, harmony and rhythm into the form of animation? And can moving drawings become music? How can historic and / or contemporary practice demonstrate synaesthetic syntax?
In front of your eyes and ears
With a perceived disparity between the slow time taken to create animation and the instant time taken to perform music, how can animation be performed live? Can the audio and the visual be combined in improvised performance? How can live, hand scribing or music notation or coding or drawing be used to conjure spontaneous audio-visual performance? What is gained from real-time, instant creation in the present moment? What does it mean for ‘liveness’ to experience this at home through a screen rather than being fully present at the event?
Repetition and difference is at the heart of rhythm, at the heart of the algorithm, at the heart of animation, at the heart of lived experience. Rhythm is everywhere. From the natural - visceral, internal rhythms of the body breathing and the heart pumping or the slow changing of the seasons; to the artificial - externally imposed rhythms ordering us through the ticktock of mechanical clocktime or the ebb and flow of economic cycles. How does rhythm connect audio and animation? What might animation learn from audio and music theory and vice versa?
A Return to the Material
In an age of digital synthesis and screen-based connections is there a craving for a return to the material? Do we long for haptic feedback and analogue experience: the touch of guitar strings, the feel of charcoal smearing under the fingers, banging a drum, painting on film? Is this simply a form of nostalgia or might it be thought through in new ways? How can it be brought together in the audiovisual?