Are You Listening? - Process:

When this image-and-text-based project was introduced, the thing that stood out to me was the absence of sound. Many moving images have become firmly associated in our minds with certain sounds through film, television, and everyday observance. At first, this seemed like an obstacle that I needed to overcome, but evolved into a fascination that I decided to explore through this project. The idea was to inspire sounds in viewers’ minds through silent visuals. The absence of sound defies expectations, evoking an even stronger reaction than if a soundtrack had been included.

To begin with I created a list of everyday sounds that have strong visual associations. The list included words like “honk,” “crash,” and “drip.” My goal was then to go out and find images that could accompany these words. Using a camera and tripod checked out from Meyer library, I roamed campus trying to film birds, traffic and construction. I ended up not using these metaphorical representations of sound because it was difficult to control the timing as I was filming. I settled on the quieter, but no less evocative sounds included in the video. I organized the clips in such a way that the sound seems to crescendo and then diminish to nothing by the end. Finally, I added the three words “ARE YOU LISTENING?” at the beginning of the video, juxtaposed against silent versions of my three visual elements, introducing the concept of the piece.