Keynote 2: Alain Fleisher

Day: Wednesday
Time: 10:15 - 11:00
Location: Université de Montréal
Room: B421



  • “Transfert de formes / Transfert de sens” (Transfer of forms, transfer of meaning)


I have been interested for some time in the question of the transfer of forms, from the sound world to the visual world, from the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional, from analog to digital… and vice versa.

We know, since the cinema is speaking, that the soundtrack of a film becomes an optical signal coated on one side of the image tape. It was first a system of lines prefiguring the bar codes, and then generalized the form of a black wave on a white background for the black and white films, or blue on a yellow background for the color films. Thus sound became an image, and film technicians used to evaluate the optical transfer of a soundtrack according to photographic criteria: sharpness, grain, contrast, etc.

From there, I experimented with the transfer of this undulation, this modulation, on various kinds of images, by multiplying the transfers from one support to the other, either by the means of digital interface, or by simple analogical layers or prints made by hand. These researches led me, after having made travel a sound support (a sentence), by successive transfers, to try to read it again to notice if the original message had been preserved, with possibly which alterations, which accidents, occurred during the long journey through different spaces. I was thus led to make readers capable of deciphering the sound message by reading an image containing its visual form several times carried over. The result was conclusive with the restitution, perfectly identifiable, of the sentence of origin.

In the prolongation of these experiments, my new research is concerned with the transformation of the sung word and the music into images, i.e. of sound signals into optical signals. With always the same objective to transfer successively the signal, the modulation (the wave form), of a support on the other one, while passing by traditional supports like the vinyl disc, by numerical CD, by imprints on various matters, by transcriptions of the order of the drawing. The objective will be again to note what becomes a musical form (including the song), after having passed by these successive transfers.

The presentation of my research will be illustrated by images, by the presentation of deciphering instruments, and by recordings.