An experiment in interrupting the congruity of audio-visual relationships
override is a series of two experimental works for mobile phone investigating creative ways in which the experience of audio-visual relationships may be interrupted to facilitate a more considered encounter with the senses. The aim of this project was to gain a more visceral understanding of how sound might function in combination with vision, and how sensing and sense-making might relate to each other. In other words, I was exploring an embodied understanding of Chion’s (1994) notion of synchresis. Somewhat led by Niall Moody’s (2009) thesis that the motion inherent in sight and sound acts as a connecting device between them, I set out to create an environment in which the congruity between the senses would be interrupted.
override developed into two audio-visual works to be experienced on a double-decker bus with the help of a mobile phone and noise-cancelling headphones. Both pieces aim to create discrepancy between seeing and hearing with the help of the movement felt whilst riding on a bus. In both cases the visual aspect of the film shows a journey made on a similar bus, whilst the sonic aspects and their relationship to the visual and kinetic information differ.
This article will begin by providing a project outline of override, as an experience of making at the intersections of hearing, seeing and kinetic sensations. It then discusses several topics relevant to its making: the relationships between synchresis and motion, virtual and real experiences, the role of listening in the development of the project and the journey from sensing to sense-making, explored from the perspective of creating override. One key point that emerged from this project was the realisation that conceptualisations – including preconceptions – readily insert themselves into sensorial experiences. Attempting to interrupt sensorial congruity therefore offers itself as an opportunity to question the many assumptions that are part of the sense-making process underlying our creative process.
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