Sound Sensitivity Part 2 by Matthew J. Moran

COURSE: Art 699: Independent Study with Professor Yeohyun Ahn

MEDIUM: Video/Animation, Code Art, Audio, Data Visualization

“Sound Sensitivity Part 2” is a generative drawing and audio experience. It was made with the Processing computer graphics language. The entire project is made with the standard libraries provided by Processing and doesn’t utilize any other external libraries or resources. The 3D cubic flow field is made through the composition of several different math and computer graphic concepts. The cubes are generated with Perlin noise, and their rotation is the flow field’s respective vector. The moving geometry is affected by the state of the flow field. Finally, the change in audio levels is made possible by analyzing the particles in the camera’s current perspective. Combing all these smaller components together is what creates the sound interactive experience made possible by Processing.

“Sound Sensitivity Part 2” is an exploration of the concept of noise and randomness through the lens of aversive sensitivity to external stimuli, especially sound. The piece visualizes various types of noise, including white noise, Perlin noise, and gradient noise, using mathematical expressions, computer algorithms, and Processing. The piece aims to convey the psychological impacts of noise, as studies have shown that too much noise and randomness can induce stress, while order and no noise can be relieving and a natural human instinct. By tying in the objective facts surrounding randomness and noise, the piece provides a lens into the artist’s personal experiences with mental health, anxiety, and coping mechanisms for creating order. Ultimately, “Sound Sensitivity Part 2” suggests that the ability to control randomness and make one’s own actions unpredictable can be advantageous in many situations. However, an inability to produce random sequences under time stress may be due to limited information capacity of the underlying response-selection mechanism. The medium used in “Sound Sensitivity Part 2” is digital, utilizing computational visual dialects and augmented reality to create an immersive experience for the audience. Through this transdisciplinary approach, the piece suggests a new way to explore and visualize the concept of noise, integrating personal experience with objective mathematical definitions.