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Phonic Imagery

wət du ju si? 
wət du ju hɪr? 
stɑrt tu sɪr

phonic imagery
fɑnɪk ɪmədʒri

Phonic Imagery is a sound film that tries to critique the accepted subservience sound in artist film by focusing on the mundane in our everyday, making it the central narrative of the work.

Bi-modal is not enough.
Language defines our relationship to an object, and the language we use in relation to film heavily leans towards the visual being the dominant mode of stimulus. In Phonic Imagery I have tried to query the breadth of the audiovisual lexicon available to describe my practice as an audiovisual composer. I believe that there is a missing transitive verb to describe the action of engaging with sound films, one doesn’t just see these films, and one doesn’t just hear them, one __?__ them? The word bi-modal suggests a partisan equality to the senses. There is however, a holistic attentive process that is more than the sum of these modalities, taking into account cognitive, contextual and conditioned responses, which I believe, in the light of our advances in understanding in this field, necessitate a new verb to define our approach to the audiovisual.

Influenced by the Colavita Visual Dominance Effect and the McGurk Effect upon audiovisual perception, Phonic Imagery uses subtitles to enhance the phonetic properties of “unnoticed” sounds in narratively cohesive situations. Initially, the subtitles were to be written in the International Phonetic Alphabet, but their unfamiliarity created confusion between the phoneme intended and what the recipient understood. As such only the credits feature this phonetic transcription, though research into the field did greatly inform the direction of the film.

Sounds and visuals were recorded, edited and mastered by myself. There were no collaborative elements in conception, process or delivery.

Phonic Imagery has been shortlisted for the Open Circuit Festival and shown at the University of Liverpool’s Music and Screen Media Conference 2014.