Through the visualization of sound, Imag(in)ing Indigeneity in Language seeks to develop a way of “seeing” language in order to identify each one's distinct qualities. This SSHRC funded research creation project employs digital art creation as a scholarly research tool. It engages Indigenous research methods to shift perceptions around the relationship of language to worldviews and ecological concerns.

Inspired by recent developments in sonoluminescence, we started the process of making sound visible in the digital realm using MAX/MSP/JITTER to create a spectogram. Although we learned to read the images, in the end this method proved unsatisfactory as the visual representations seemed arbitray, much like written langauge. Our goal was to render the actual sounds of words visible. We wanted to see sound.

After a couple of years of writing code, a student brought the cymascope to our attention, a mechanism that renders sound visible through water.

We dropped the digital realm in favour of the physical. Water! So simple and so beautiful.

Water Rendering Sound Visible

Visualzing Sound in the Digital Realm