Sonifying Art for Visually Impaired

I want to thank all the class members that used Sketch-A-Song during our recent demo day and provided Eric and I with really great feedback! From our observations, we noticed that people really liked the idea of musical gestures, i.e. seeing how different shapes sounded and working to understand how the speed of their drawing would affect the sound. Individuals also really like to see how their name sounded. This makes sense based on the fact that everyone has a name, so it provides a common point of interest and means of socializing with the technology (NameVoyager also used baby names as a way to engage users and it was very successful).

One unexpected idea that came out of our discussion was using Sketch-A-Song as an assistive tool to help visually impaired individuals create and view art. This is a really exciting idea, and I encourage you all to check out the last section of our paper “Exploring Techniques to Sonify Art with Sketch-A-Song” to learn more about how your ideas helped us come up with a hypothetical design for a really neat assistive technology.



Interactive Art that Inspired Sketch-A-Song

There were two interactive art pieces in particular that Inspired Eric and I when we were designing our project, Sketch-A-Song. These artworks can be found at and is a program where moving balls cross lines and play a note proportional to their length. If the user’s cursor is close to the moving ball, the balls gravitate toward the cursor and change the Baroque music compositions that are being played. In this artwork, there is a composition and the user’s interaction alters and updates the compositions. shows a grid where the user can click and drag in order to highlight portions of the grid. At each beat, a vertical line consisting of an entire column of the grid moves horizontally across the screen. When that column crosses a highlighted cell, it plays a note corresponding to the height of the cell.

Inudge features a simple repetitive music composition wherein the notes are musically tuned to make the resulting composition sound harmonious. uses classically composed musical scores with nuances created through mouse position. In the user has less control over the musical output, but the sound is more complex and interesting, whereas in Inudge, the sound is simple and repetitive, yet more user generated.

From these examples, we concluded that we wanted to have the potential for complex sound, but we also wanted the visual artistic experience to be central. In both of these examples, the visual aspect was secondary to the actual functionality of the program. We wanted this visual component to be primary and complemented by complex and beautiful compositions.

Chromatic typewriter types works of art

Really cool re-appropriation of old technology.

It seems like a new art movement is brewing that makes interesting use of existing technology or media to make cool art. Taking a playful attitude to existing materials lends itself to creating unique art. Art is the result of extended periods of concentration and prolonged intention. In my opinion, the difference between a novice an expert artist is that the expert keeps going while the novice will get discouraged. Anything can become art with the appropriate amount of time invested.

Eighth Wonder Of The World

It has been revealed that an Italian man created one of the world’s treasures by tunneling underground to create an intricate network of tunnels and temples. He started in the 60’s inspired by a vision from his childhood. He says that he mentally traveled to a temple from his childhood vision and replicated what he saw. The story is quite intriguing. Check it out:



Different ways of thinking

Edward De Bono is a creativity researcher that has proposed different methods to help stimulate creative thinking. From what I gather, he takes an active approach to research. Less on the scientific side and more on the pragmatic and results driven findings. One of his major contributions is the ‘Six Hats’ idea. I think someone in the class mentioned that they engaged in this type of activity in one of their jobs. Here is a video explaining each of the hats.

I am considering including some aspect like this in the game I am going to create. I want the game to be about changing one’s perspective to reinterpret object, images, and drawings. The idea of using a game as research is intriguing, but I wonder if injecting competition into the mix will skew the creative process.