Sara Lewis ’17 installs multidisciplinary work in the Science Wing

This post was written by Sara Lewis ’17.

Whenever I speak, the sound created by my vocal chords moves through the air in the form of waves until it hits awaiting ears. The sound waves I create are only strong enough to last for a few seconds, which makes the waves very difficult to capture. Light also moves in waves, creating different colors. Every color that is visible to my eyes is produced by electromagnetic radiation waves.

Every wavelength has a frequency. For sound, this frequency determines the pitch of the voice. For light, this frequency helps determine what color the light will be visible as. Sound and light waves work on different frequency scales, but in theory they are the same. This means that sound could be translated to light and light could be translated to sound.

Synesthesia is a series of paintings that transcends sound frequency to color frequencies over the span of one day. On December 10, 2015, I recorded the sound frequency in the Beaver lobby, mapping the percentages of each frequency at five specific times throughout the day. After calculating the percentages of frequency in 11 different intervals for these five times, I mapped them to 11 different colors that proceed through the frequency-based color spectrum.

Using all my collected percentage information, I created five paintings, each of which contains the percentage of color based on the percentage of frequency measurements it is mapped to.

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