Book of noises
Low-Fi – Book of Noises is a photobook project where everyday annoying and dangerous sounds were converted into photography. Therefore, it’s a visual interface for an important worldwide public health issue, particularly in urban centers. The publication assigns images to a series of sounds from vibrations on liquid surfaces.
In other words, Low-Fi intends to approach excessive noise issues specifically generated by human activity. In its own way, it aims to attract looks and ears into an interaction for environmental health discussing. The photobook shows images formed by noise, but readers can also hear them for real.
In the physical photobook, images are accompanied by notes addressing the subject. Each photo has a corresponding QR code, which readers can scan with smartphones: it leads to correlated podcasts where noises can be heard.
Canadian musician, educator and researcher Raymond Murray Schafer uses terms as hi-fi and lo-fi, high fidelity and low fidelity respectively, when comparing countryside soundscapes to the urban ones in his book The Tuning of he World.
Schafer explains that overlapping several different sounds of urban environments (lo-fi landscape) radically changes perception compared to rural soundscapes. In this one you can hear details of the environment immediately around and also distant acoustic signals: the human ear is alert like that of an animal (…) In the silent environment of the hi-fi sound landscape, even the most insignificant disturbances can communicate information interesting or vital.
Low-Fi recordings contrast to hi-fi landscape tranquility and selectivity. It is therefore disharmonious sound. There was significantly high overlapping degree of sound signals in most recordings as it could not fail at noisy neighborhoods where it were captured. Therefore, other noises will always interfere with main noises. As a result of those conditions, photographs denoted chaos and asymmetry by freezing vibrations in the liquid.
The photobook was conceived in 2018 and 2019 as Postgraduate Program in Photography and Moving Pictures conclusion work, under Professor Joseane Zanchi Daher coordination at Positivo University, Curitiba – Paraná – Brazil.
Low-Fi invites you to take a deep dive in its photographs. In the water thin layer, vibrations evolve in four dimensions, leaving the trail of their passage. But only two dimensions will be represented by photography, according to the reflections of the philosopher Vilém Flusser (2002) about our ability to reconstruct “the four spatio-temporal dimensions”:
Decisive factor in deciphering images is that they are plans. The meaning of an image is found on the surface and can be captured at a glance. However, such a method of deciphering will produce only the superficial meaning of the image. Whoever wants to “deepen” the meaning and restore the abstracted dimensions, must allow their sight to wander the surface of the image. Such wandering the surface is called scanning. The scanning layout follows the image structure, but also impulses within the observer. The meaning deciphered by this method will therefore be the result of a synthesis between two “intentionalities”: that of the sender and that of the receiver. Images are not sets of symbols with unequivocal meanings, as are the figures: they are not “denotative”. Images offer their recipients an interpretive space: “connotative” symbols. *
* FLUSSER, Vilém. Philosophy of the black box: Essays for a future philosophy of photography. São Paulo: Hucitec, 1985.
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