Revisiting Sono-Subjective

Okay... so here's an addition to my research and development blog I wasn't expecting to make! Just before I kickstart my upcoming new media experiments, I found that I'd recently been commissioned to create some new oil paintings as part of an expansion on a series of artworks I established back in 2018 called Sono-Subjective.

Sono-Subjective is a series of oil paintings created as subjective interpretations and real-time responses to contemporary electronic music tracks:

This artwork series was very much an expression driven process. Each painting is created as a real-time response to a piece of music. The first edition artworks in this series were tracks I had personally selected, but more recent artworks are created on request as private commissions. Featured prominently in the video above, was the first painting in this series, which was painted as a real-time response time one of my all-time favorite tracks - 'i_o' by Chapelier Fou:

Other tracks that featured in the creation of the initial run of paintings were 'Music for 18 Musicians' by Steve Reich, 'Angel Echoes' by Fortet, and 'Far Away Trains Passing By' by Ulrich Schnauss (the finished paintings for each of these feature towards the end of the video shown above.) As I find myself making some new artworks for this series (in an ongoing tradition of turning external commissions into some lovely Christmas downtime therapy) I naturally find myself reflecting on the mechanics of this project within the scope of my current endeavor to begin establishing my new praxis for multimodal creativity. Reflections on the process behind Sono-Subjective have made me realise that temporality plays a significant role in establishing a strong relationship between music and colour. As documented in the video above, it was actually the method, the movement of the paintbrush and the pathfinding on the canvas, that secured a strong relationship between the music and the visual, more so than the colours used or the resulting artworks themselves, of which are static artifacts.

...and I think this is why, deep down, I have always had a problem with the dissonance created by paintings that represent music or sound - they are a static artifact representing a more temporal art form. This has been an interesting viewpoint to chew on as I revisited Sono-Subjective this week, as I feel that the influence of temporality on the relationship between sensory modalities within new media is going to play an important role in my upcoming experiments over the coming weeks...

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