Sound as vibration  Els Viaene Oct 2020 -

For a very long time now, I approach sound in my work as an end product, namely something I record with my microphones and then use as a material that I mould and remould. This process then results into a composition, a live performance or an installation. In my current practice and research I investigate sound at its source, the moment it is shaped. In this case I approach sound as a physical phenomenon: a vibration, a wave, a variation in air pressure. 'Shaping' and 'appearing' are in this research two important concepts. How can I shape sound into a matter which manifests itself as a tangible, visible medium?

In a first phase I therefore worked together with the Museum of the History of Science at the Ghent University. Here we re-enacted a series of historical sound probes from the 18th Century in which sound vibrations are made visible. At the end of this collaboration we carefully documented these probes on film.

In a second phase I used these acquired experiences to set-up new experiments in my studio. Using mirrors, snares, sticks, smoke, dust, ... I searched for new ways to make sound vibrations visible, tangible.

Here at Overtoon I continue this phase of the research focusing more specifically on the visual and ephemeral qualities of smoke, air and dust in relation to sound as a vibration.

Residency in the frame of Oscillations, Exercises in Resilience. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.

Research projects by Els Viaene

Sound as vibration