Towards an artistic synthesis of audio/video composition

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Wilson, Steve

The quest for innovation and experimentation in art is ongoing. The early electronic music explored by Babbitt, Stockhausen and others provided a new creative outlet for composers. Computers are now capable of real-time video manipulation, which, when combined with electronic sound synthesis, can create an exciting new mode of artistic expression. It is analogous to creating a film in real time, where the abstraction of music replaces the cinema's insistence on a traditional narrative. I intend to research audio manipulation techniques and how they can be combined with and applied to video. Audio manipulation effects, such as chorusing, flanging, and bit reduction, are quite common in sound synthesis, but are largely unexplored in video applications. I believe this could be a fertile area for artistic endeavor. Pure Data, a graphical programming environment, allows the composer detailed control and composition of aural and visual material. This program is an excellent tool for bringing these media together through sequencing or in a real-time environment. Also, it is particularly useful for the proposed research because it allows the user to build anything they can conceive. My project will consist of a composition demonstrating a coherent synthesis of audio and video by exploring the application of audio concepts to video. My work will take the form of a prerecorded composition as well as a real-time, interactive demonstration environment that illustrates the techniques developed for the project.

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The project completed at the Wichita State University Center for Research in Arts, Technology, Education and Learning. Presented at the 3rd Annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit, Topeka, KS, 2006