Visual and Material Culture: Course

Visual music

Arnon Asher, Semester 2, Wednesday, 14:00-17:00
What are the relations between color, form, image and sound? What are the relations between visual compositions (two or three dimensional, static or dynamic) and musical compositions?These questions and others will be addressed in the course ‘Visual Music’ which aim is to explore possible relations between visual arts, design and architecture and music and their implementation within the modes of operation of the different departments of Bezalel. In the course, we will investigate practically and conceptually different types of relations between visual and musicaldimensions to reach insights and construct a common syntax to them. The term ‘Visual Music’ was coined by the British painter and critic Roger Fry in 1912 to describe the work of Wassily Kandinsky who as others of his contemporaries constructed strategies of abstraction in visual arts by analogy to musical attributes. Since then the term has evolved from its metaphoric significance as a title to diverse strategies for the construction of time based visual artworks which operate by musical principles (with or without sounds) and to direct translations of sound to image and vice versa. The strategies for these, based on the interplay between the audible and the visual have been assimilated in diverse contemporary art and design formats as video clips, video art, performance and installation art, music and dance performances, computer interfaces and digital musical instruments. The course which is basically practical and experimental by its nature will also address theoretical and historical aspects of the interrelation between the mediums, as explored by artists, designers and musicians from the beginning of the twentieth century till today. The course is addressed to music loving students of all departments and does not require any musical qualification. For those with any experience in the field (playing, singing, dancing, disc jockeying, sound editing, recording, electronic music experimentation etc.) this will provide an opportunity to engage their skills in the course’s practical exercises and project.