80Hz

 
is an experimental project for exploring the  State Library of New South Wales catalogue through sound. Designed in collaboration with the DX Lab,
80Hz takes paintings from the library’s collection and turns them into music.


Digitising data does not necessarily make it more accessible. As information becomes abundant, exploring it becomes increasingly complex. 80Hz builds on concepts of data sonification commonly used in the fields of astronomy and oceanography to understand data, refocussing them onto images in order to explore their invisible layers.



Located outside the Mitchell Reading Room in Sydney’s CBD, the 80Hz pavilion features a curving black timber frame clad in matt anodised aluminium shingles. Inside the structure, a central mechanism displays a selection of paintings on a reel, like a real-life Instagram feed. Visitors can crank a handle to select an image and listen to its soundscape. Multi-channel audio embedded in the floor and all corners creates an immersive experience that surrounds visitors and resonates through the structure. The metal cladding and geometry means that the sound reverberates, creating a unique acoustic space.

Working with studio Sonar Sound, a computer program was developed to translate visual data into sound. Images were analysed for visual data such as complexity, colour, tone and face detection, and metadata like date, location and subject. These values then formed the basis of computer-generated compositions.






P R O J E C T  I N F O R M A T I O N


C R E D I T S


CLIENT
LOCATION
COMPLETION

State Library of NSW
Sydney, Australia
October 2018

CREATOR / DESIGNER
PROJECT MANAGER
PARTNER-IN-CRIME
SOUND ENGINEER
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Thomas Wing-Evans
Thomas Wing-Evans
DX Lab
Sonar Sound
Taylor Thomson Whitting



P R E S S

Mark
    ©2019 Thomas Wing-Evans