Spectrograms from a Video Archive is an installation made in collaboration with Crista Dahl's Video Archive at VIVO Media Arts Centre in Vancouver, BC. For this installation we selected a variety of video artworks by a range of artists including Paul Wong, Jane Wright and Guli Silberstein. The work itself consists of several algorithms that analyze the videos, convert the visual data into spectrograms that are then converted into sound using a sonification algorithm. All of this happens in real time. Furthermore, the spectrograms are subjected to several computer vision algorithms to extract compositional 'fingerprints' that are unique to each video. The spectrograms and pattern analysis reveal compositional characteristics in the video such as editing, motion and color composition. Looking at a spectrogram is a quick way to evaluate the progression and rhythm of a video and could be useful for curatorial purposes and research in the field of art and film history.
The sonification aspect of this work gives the viewer/listener a different perspective on the work. Compositional elements such as motion and editing become very clear as they are enhanced by the audio. To me, it was obvious that the aesthetics of video were clearly reflected in the sonification.