Sound as Vibration

Sound is my main working material. I used to observe it as an 'end product', a material that i catch and mold by the use of digital recorders, computers and other objects that i place inbetween myself and the sound. The longer i work with sound the more i somehow feel distanced from it. How can i restore this distance? Can i grasp this matter that never makes itself visible?

Therefore in this research i investigate sound at its source, the moment it is shaped. Approaching sound as a physical phenomenon: a vibration, a wave, a variation in air pressure. 'Shaping' and 'appearing' are hereby two important concepts. How can i shape sound into a matter which manifests itself as a tangible, visible medium?

1   The physics of sound: history

It is in the late 18th and 19th Century that physicists started to gain insight in sound as a physical phenomenon. The history of the study of sound within the natural philosophy forms the starting point of my artistic research.

In a first phase i decided to re-enact a series of very basic historical probes. As a guideline i used the writings of John Tyndall, "Sound: A Course of Eight Lectures" (1867).


The historical probes were set up in collaboration with GUM. Thanks to the endless dedication of Danny and Roland during the summer holidays of 2019.


After a long period of testing, failing and setting up again, we managed to re-enact and film six historical probes. They give us a wonderfull insight in the magical properties of sound as a physical phenomenon.


Stills from "Historical Probe 6: Kaleidophone"


2   In search for new images of sound

The historical experiments showed me a glimpse of the visual properties of sound as a physical phenomenon. We therefore had to use mirrors, lightbeams, lenses and vibrating tuning forks. Still i wonder if i can find other outcomes, if i can bring sound in contact with materials that share the same ephemeral qualities and as such create images that touch upon the same poetry.