Practice what you teach. Term 2. Some notes on Cymatics

Practice what you teach. Term 2.



Cymatics purports to explore the notion of trying to find hidden data in nature and (in the context of Evan Grants lecture) considers the latent potential of objects. Everything gives out some form of data; whether sound vibration smell that may be collated. Cymantics is an epistemological way to find ways to unveil this .In essence this is done by visualising sound by vibrating a medium such as metal or water.

What I find interesting about cymatic patterns is not the idea of the pattern itself but the space in between the pattern. Where the actual vibrations and frequency change and shift. This seems to be more akin to what exists in experience. We hardly get these perfect models of tonality as exemplified by the demonstrations or illustrations. In my own work I do see parallels to this form of representation. Particularly in terms of the filmic work undertaken in the ‘zone’; an area of land within a storm drain. Though I think that in the ‘prism’ as experienced in the context of the zone there is this notion of beauty, or experience in transitory space.

The notion of cymatics as a form of interactive art is interesting, and indeed I can see the validity of applications in the context of art therapy. Notion within the context of public art that we may be able to manipulate and interact with the patter. However this form of interpretive media still positions the Copernican as central. It is our effect that is seen on the world read through this medium and perhaps I am (at the time of writing this post) trying to determine how (in terms of Harman) we may determine, or surmise the ‘real qualities’ or ‘real objects’ rather than focusing on ‘sensual qualities’ of ‘sensual objects’. The beauty of cymatics as a natural art form is, I feel a fallacy.

This is the main problem I have with this form. That what we are seeing is some sort of digging deeper into the being of things (a form of undermining in terms of Harman), rather than a different model of interpretation that is mediated through the ideas. This is typified by Evan grants quantifying of Beethoven’s ninth symphony through semantic three dimensional technology. The image appears as an image that would not look out of place at a rave; an aid to an ecstatic state or screen saver for windows 8.

I am really skeptical that cymatics is a looking glass of nature, using its form to visualise an inner ‘essence’ or being of the universe, and even more so that cymatics had a cause in the creation of the universe (as is here speculated). But I am still establishing the parameters of what plastic arts can actually accomplish (hence the distance between recent posts ). In light of research into notions of speculative realism, and particularly OOO.

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