It’s been 2 weeks since the last Going Visual (III) session, and I’m just now gathering my thoughts and posting the galleries up. I shared some reflections over on jasontoal.ca diving deeper into the connection between drawing and music making (more to follow), and will be sharing some of the work below.
This activity generated some interesting drawings as can be seen in our flickr gallery. The response from the group was mixed, but in general all were able to use the “story shape” seen in the Vonnegut video as a structure for “the shape of their day”. Note the continuity of the sine curves in almost every drawing. Plenty of creativity and potential for developing this work, like in some cases the shape is represented as a map. What was most important for us was if, and how they were able to use this activity to move their own projects forward.
The visual assignments for GVIII were fun to consider, and gave us a chance to incorporate activities directed at storytelling. I chose to capitalize on the buzz around the Grids and Gestures activity from Nick Sousanis, because of the encouraging no drawing skills being required component, and the consideration for using narrative to define a 2D space. To get warmed up I asked participants to watch the Kurt Vonnegut video on the shape of stories and consider the associated infographics. I wasn’t intentionally trying to combine two activities into one when I did this, but presenting them this way did exactly that.
Both of these examples require the designer to represent a concept occurring over time (a story, narrative or conversation), within a 2D space. I became fascinated by this idea and following up on Nicks’ suggested warm up thought experiment (paraphrased), “to observe the ceiling tiles in the room you are in and imagine different tiles triggering sounds“, and leapt off on a tangent in many ways unrelated to drawing, that of music.
A visual soundboard: The idea of representing a flow, in a 2D space struck an immediate chord in that these are exactly what synthesizer Graphical User Interfaces (GUI’s) are designed to do for music. In the most simple terms, a synthesizer can take a pre-programmed set of instructions (the grid) and generate a loops, patterns and guide emotional responses dependant on users selections.
Activity: Try interacting with the music grid below by clicking on the individual squares. Turning a square “on” will trigger a sound based on the position of that square in the grid. By turning on and off more squares, increasingly complex soundscapes will quickly emerge.
Blog posts on Grids and Gestures – Here are some notable blog posts on the GnG activity. I’m still processing these so have not been able to pull out quotes, but they will be my reference looking back. I have no conclusion for this post.