The video series "The Sound of Fountain" are Kenji Kojima's Techno Synesthesia Art Works. They realize the Art of Synesthesia by computer technology using algorithmic composition. “Synesthesia” is the perception phenomenon that can feel a certain sense of other senses. An ordinary human being cannot see sounds. We can only see a sight and listen a sound of our surroundings. I believe no boundaries between audio and visual. I would like to try Synesthesia by computer science for the art. The project is experimenting with the relationship between sound and visual. “The Sound of Fountain" is not pursuing visual stimulations nor illusions. The video plays the sounds of 9 fountains in New York City. It does not play only sounds of spouted water and fountain sights with environmental noises. But the music was created from the video image data by the algorithm of the artist's programming. The music is not a composer's impression, it is composed of certain visual data by the computer algorithm.
The algorithm refers the method of our sensibilities. But this is not a science, it is an art project. A video frame contains a huge amount of visual data. The program can not convert all the data of the video images to musical notes. Our sensibilities select instinctively appropriate data from an enormous amount of information on passing the time. The visual data are suppressed and arranged by the algorithm. The project uses comparing the brightness on the timeline. The program reads RGB color data from divided 84 grids of a video frame and compares the brightness of each grid and chooses two largest different values than a second before, then converts the color values to musical notes. You can see the binary and the positions of musical notes in white line squares on the video. The program converts the color value 120 to the middle C of the scale. Higher value added note steps on a scale. The program can set some variations by parameters. Finally, it plays midi instruments. The technical methods of the project based on Kenji Kojima’s RGB MusicLab.
Contemporary visual art is not only visual matters. It uses methods of science and technology and going to more like an alchemy. The technical methods based on Kenji Kojima’s RGB MusicLab. “PROJECT: The Sound of Fountain” was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain”. The edition "Public 1280x720" is under Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
Kenji Kojima's Biography:
Kenji Kojima has been experimenting with the relationships between perception and cognition, technology, music and visual art since early 90’s. He was born in Japan. He moved to New York City in 1980. He painted egg tempera paintings that were medieval art materials and techniques for the first 10 years. His paintings were collected by Citibank, Hess Oil, and others. A personal computer was improved rapidly during the 80's. He felt more comfortable with the computer art than paintings. It was clean and less contaminated on the Earth. He switches his artwork to digital. His early digital works were archived in the New Museum - Rhizome, New York. He developed Techno Synesthesia computer software "RGB MusicLab" in 2007. It created an interdisciplinary work exploring the relation between images and music. His digital art series "Techno Synesthesia" has exhibited in New York, media art festivals worldwide, including Europe, Brazil, and the online exhibitions by ACM SIGGRAPH and FILE(Electronic Language International Festival). Kenji Kojima's Resume