- Sounding Poetry of Perception - -

Sounding poetry of perception


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The project explores the relationship between our perception and the individual experience of constructing reality. A complicated sensory mechanism navigates our daily experiences where light and sounds draw the surroundings. A significant part of our perception is substituted and enhanced by our ability to imagine as well as by using other sensory modalities, for example by hearing or making visual analogies. For example we see an object, which remind us situation and previous experience or we process information though our knowledge about it, or we can imagine how far object sounds, without being able to hear it because of the distance. The synesthetic approach of the project is an invitation for a more precise visual investigation of what surrounds us and challenges ability to describe. The name The Poetry of Perception is chosen because poets, to provoke our imagination, initially refer to visual objects, forms or conditions in written text. In Sounding Poetry, textual descriptions become a score for sound compositions, where different words correspond to field recordings and sounds. The created soundscape is composed by one’s interpretation of his/her own visual experience into words.


The initial idea was to focus one’s attention on an object for a longer period of time and thus evoke more detailed observations. While walking in a gallery or museum, our engagement is predominantly visual. While I stand in front of a landscape painting, painted in a romantic manner, it speaks to me acoustically; shifting my gaze I can hear the different painted elements. When placed in a quiet, showroom, the painting is like a muted window to another dimension and time. Most often the visitors only briefly notice the multilayered perceptual world in which a particular painting exists. Adding sounds to the visual observation would enrich the experience of an artwork. Inspired by my shifting gaze and the order I notice elements in a painting, I wish to create compositions based on an individual’s experience by ordering and mixing field recordings into a soundscape according to his/her exploration of a painting.

Sources: Neuroscience, Visual Perception, Synesthesia, Semiology, Sound composing

Methodological research and tools: Pure Data, Python, Java Script, electronics


The project is as multilayered as the composed soundscapes it develops. Provoking a synesthetic experience of an artwork, were visuals became poetry, and poetry a sound score. It is not only a site specific value to the object we perceive, but questions our abilities of fully experience the surrounding.

Authors and Contributors

Pepa Ivanova , Radoslav Borisov , Kiril Zyapkov editors Špela Petrič and Mark Barreda


Touch, London, UK | Init Lab, Sofia, BG | European commission - Leonardo grant for mobility and LUCA - Sint Lukas University, Brussels, BE