‘Humanity has always recognised that the powers of mind are limited, and has always made devices to compensate for those limitations. Our most obvious cognitive limitation is memory, and writing is a device for storing information outside the head so that it does not have to be remembered. Instead, the human brain need only store the code for reading. As soon as it could be economically reproduced and distributed, writing became in Europe an irresistible force for equality: within three centuries after Guttenberg, modern science had been created, ecclesiastical authority had been reduced, the divine right of kings had vanished, and democratic forms of government had emerged.’ (1)

Using generative software and synthesis programming, working process critiques generative sound as a cognitive prosthesis to draw imagery from the body. Listening to listening, the agenda of sound as filtered in the everyday commercially and ideologically. Forming a document of hearing considering Merleau-Ponty’s writings on perception within aphasia (a paralysis of speech), Schumann resonance (sound frequencies used to align the brain in healing music), ASMR (perceptual phenomenon of body responses to audio as a cognitive stimuli).

‘We are also disadvantaged in the pursuit of a historical perspective. While we may have numerous photographs taken at different times, and before them drawings and maps to show us how a scene changed over the ages, we must make inferences as to the changes of the soundscape. We may know exactly how many new buildings went up in a given area in a decade or how the population has risen, but we do not know by how many decibels the ambient noise level may have risen for a comparable period of time. More than this, sounds may alter or disappear with scarcely a comment even from the most sensitive of historians.’ (2)

‘There’s always some dialogue, a melody or a particular phrase that lingers in my mind after watching a movie, and these fragments become leitmotivs within my imaginary sound world for days, weeks or even years afterwards.’ (3)


(1) Ford, Kenneth from his 1997 essay Cognitive Prosthesis for Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, University of West Florida.

(2) Schafer, Raymond Murray extract from The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Turing of the World (Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1993) in Kelly, Caleb., Sound. (The MITT Press, Massachusetts, 2011) p.111

(3) Dalt, Lucrecia., (2013) Red Bull Music Academy Interview.

Medium: Sound Installation. Recorded audio composition, cassette tape, matt emulsion, MDF, audio equipment, spray paint, perspex (1405 x 2000 x 2mm).

Edition of 60 cassettes

1. Aphasia Theory 2.04
2. Simulacra & Simulation 16.07
3. Completeness 2.52
4. Space Arp 6.06

Cassette. 28 minutes. Each spray painted Rosa Saudade Pink also Amarillo Ipanema Yellow.

National College of Art and Design
Graduate Show 2014.
June 13th-22nd.

(Photo credit: Lesley Humphreys)