Soundscape Instrument. Finland: Fields, 2012-2015

Barbara Bartos

The Soundscape Instrument is an object that translates painted landscapes into sound. The ‘scores’ are detailed gouaches on paper of actual panoramas, which subsequently are perforated following unique features of the landscape. Once perforated the painting is played via the music box.

The process of creating each painting/score goes from the visual to the audible, thus the resulting sound is not composed in the traditional sense, but generated by the image via a translation process, which makes it legible by the mechanism. The instrument can produce 30 chromatic notes, but the resulting melody is not tonal since it does not follow any music theory concepts.

Each painting contains in itself 4 different melodies, as each painting can be played in 4 different ways/directions. At this time, the project consists of 8 different landscape-scores. This series is a work in progress, evolving with every new place that I experience, thus becoming a polyphonic illustration of all the spaces I inhabited.

I look at it as a translation project, one that reveals an unexpected synchronicity, not only between visual and audible perception, but also between nature and culture.

Artist Statement

Barbara Bartos

Barbara Bartos' work explores the image in an experimental way using a variety of media, from audio-visual projects to site-specific environmental interventions, drawings, paintings and prints. Her current investigations revolve around what is an image, and how different forms of perception shape its meaning.

She tends to work by limiting herself to a few essential materials, each piece being the product of an elaborate generative process. The resultant works are hybrids between the artists' conceptual framework and nature - expressed through the elements used. She attempts to strike a balance between human intervention and nature, creating works that hover at the threshold between her conceptual premise and the organic growth of the constituting materials.

Romanian born, with an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an undergraduate degree from the University of Art and Design, Cluj, Romania, Barbara Bartos lives and works in US and Italy.

Her work has been exhibited in international museums and galleries including: Southern Exposure, San Francisco, Palazzo Correr, Venice, Italy; Caixa-Ourense, Spain; Modern Art Gallery, Miskolc, Hungary; National Art Museum, Cluj, Romania. She is the recipient of many grants and awards among which a Fulbright Fellowship for study in the United States.

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