About the exhibition

Jan 23 - Mar 18, 2016

Opening Reception: Sat, Jan 23 6-9pm

Visual Music is an art form that transforms auditory data into visual experience and shares aesthetics of music with the visual language. It closes the gap between two different sensory expressions by using the development of technology. Throughout the consistent evolution and innovations of technology, visual music has been investigated for a long time by artists, designers, engineers, and researchers in various ways. From color organ and television to mobile device and virtual reality, technological inventions have delivered higher impact to artists to push the boundaries of their multi-sensory artworks. Artists have used computer programming to create algorithmic composition and visualization based on sound data. Mapping sound into the visual language (colors, shapes and forms) can boost up higher user engagement and reading ability. Immersive audiovisual experience using sensory devices opens up a new possibility in media art and visual music field.

The diversity of these works reflects a complex and nuanced field. Yet the exhibition posits something specific: how we listen to visuals and how we see sound. Many of the artists in this exhibition aim for creating new ways of listening and seeing data. The sound and the visuals they create provide immersive experiences for visitors that resonate with them. In many of the works, visuals and sound are linked tightly together, and give rise to new understanding and exciting experiences.

This exhibition explores the cutting edge of visual music by observing diverse approaches from six artists based on California. Artists include Reza Ali, Yuan-Yi Fan, George Legrady, Ryan McGee, Juan Manuel Escalante, Erick Oh, F. Myles Sciotto and Camella Da Eun Kim. Artworks range from hand-drawn animation, audiovisual installation and performance, and ­mobile application to data-driven visual sound.

Curator: Yoon C Han

Artists: Reza Ali, Yuan-Yi Fan, George Legrady, Ryan McGee, Juan Manuel Escalante, Erick Oh, F. Myles Sciotto and Camella DaEun Kim

Opening reception: Saturday, January 23, 2016 6-9pm

Exhibition program: Saturday, January 23, 2016 7pm, Opening performance by Ryan McGee

Date: January 23 - March 18, 2016

Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10am-5pm

Location: Fellows of Contemporary Art, 970 N. Broadway, Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Website: yoonchunghan.com/svvs, http://focala.org/curators-lab/

Exhibition visual identity design: Josh Jiang



Reza Ali

OK Go asked Reza to create 6 music videos for their summer/spring 2014-2015 tour. Reza was presented with six visual references from Mary Fagot, OKGO's creative director, and was given creative freedom to work within his Rezanator framework, a customized openFrameworks Application (Environment / Software Studio), to create and sequence generative systems inspired by OP Art, optical illusions, visual music, hypersensory immersive media and synaesthesia.

Structural Analogy

Yuan-Yi Fan

Structural Analogy is a time-based media work that seeks systematic connections between sound and visuals via music information retrieval techniques. As a study of my Data-driven Visual Music series, the visualizations are rendered using audio information from the electroacoustic composition in this work, and organized based on the computed multi-level descriptors. Structural Analogy examines emergent interconnections between sound and visuals through the computational operations at multiple time scales.

Language Personality Test (series)

Camella Da Eun Kim

This is part of an ongoing series in which I explore how cultural difference is manifested in language by using custom software to analyze various written texts. While comparing Korean news articles and their English translations, I discovered that the Korean used proportionally more verbs than nouns, whereas the English were opposite and used more nouns. Languages which use a higher proportion of verbs, I call active languages, conversely those with lower I call passive languages. I am interested in using this and other metrics to conduct what I call language personality tests.

Anamorphic Fluid

George Legrady

Anamorphic Fluid is a dynamically active animation featured on screens or projected large-scale in a gallery or architectural space on straight or semi-circular walls. The animation features a collection of images suspended and floating in a virtual three-dimensional space in a state of continuous slow motion until disrupted by the presence and gestures of spectators.

Inspired by the Dadaist Tristan Tzara’s and Brion Gysin’s recombinatory cut-up techniques, also used by the beat writer William Borroughs in which text segments are randomly organized to create new configurations of meaning,Anamorphic Fluid continuously recombines a collection of images through the simulation of the laws of physics.

Custom Software has been designed in collaboration with Donghao Ren and Jieliang Luo.

Mexican National Anthem Reversed

Juan Manuel Escalante

This project explores the link between a system specifically prepared to rot/decompose with bacteria, and the many issues Mexicans face day to day. Cultural poverty and oppression force people into a new kind of slavery. Brutal murders on our streets. A greedy, corrupt and cruel political elite that knows no boundaries. This reversed exploration of the Mexican National Anthem includes four sections: the main chorus (repeated twice) and two main verses.

Microsonic Landscapes

Juan Manuel Escalante

An algorithmic exploration of the music we love. Each album’s sound-wave proposes a new spatial and unique journey by transforming sound into matter/space: the hidden into something visible. Each song is represented as a ring. Several rings come together to present a full album exploration. Four albums are included on this exhibition: “Third” by Portishead, “Another World” by Antony & the Johnsons, “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake, and ¨Für Alina¨ by Arvo Pärt.


Ryan McGee

VOSIS is an interactive image sonication interface that creates complex wavetables by raster scanning greyscale image pixel data. Using a multi-touch screen to play image regions of unique frequency content rather than a linear scale of frequencies, it becomes a unique performance tool for experimental and visual music. A number of image filters controlled by multi-touch gestures add variation to the sound palette. On a mobile device, parameters controlled by the accelerometer add another layer expressivity to the resulting audio-visual montages.


Erick Oh

'O' is a short animated film that illustrates the passage of time and the creation of the universe. Animation and music support each other to guide the audience to follow the progress of life from chaos to control, which is interpreted by artists' own vision. Music: FRNK Distribution: Beasts and Natives Alike

Les Colonnes Sonores

F.Myles Sciotto

Les Colonnes Sonores is a series of six drawings with accompanying sound compositions. These drawings and soundscapes are an exploration of the classical Greek architectural orders integrated using sound. These three ordered elements represent beauty, harmony, strength and elegance in the composition of architectural form and this work explores the relationship of these orders to the sonic sphere and towards the making of new archimusical elements that can be both seen and heard together.


Reza Ali

Reza Ali is a computational designer, digital fabricator, researcher, and engineer. His work is centered around graphics, robotics, 3D printing, dynamical systems, interfaces, software, web apps, and product design (hardware + software + form). He uses technology (code, form and electronics) to express himself. His projects manifest themselves as either visual art, hardware, 3D prints forms, video, interactive installations, applications and websites. Reza is interested in the ideas and implications of his projects, tools, and way of working. As a researcher, he is passionate about solving complex problems by creating new technologies and open sourcing them to allow others to utilize his work to build the future. Through his projects, Reza explores the feedback cycle that occurs when customs tools are written to accomplish a project / product, and how those tools can enable work to go beyond what the designer had originally envisioned. He hopes to change the world by making a difference in how people use technology, design products and experience media.

Yuan-Yi Fan

Yuan-Yi Fan studied computer music, media arts, and multimedia engineering at the Media Arts and Technology program at UC Santa Barbara, USA. As a media artist, his interactive artworks reflect how systems shape audience perception through media, and have been presented at venues including ZKM Globale: inSonic, ZERO1 Biennial, ACM Multimedia, IEEE VIS, ISEA, NIME, ICMC, Leonardo, among others. The culmination of his audience-based research experiments, Collective Expression, is introduced in his PhD dissertation as a novel creative strategy that manifests data with its emergent properties as a new language for crowd-based interactive artworks. He currently works as a software engineer prototyping voice and audio experiences at a startup in Hollywood. Before studying in USA, he worked at the Ultrasound Imaging Lab in Taiwan. www.yuanyifan.com

Camella Da Eun Kim

Camella Da Eun Kim was born in South Korea and raised in Canada since 1999. After completing a BA in Visual Arts and Media Studies, Kim obtained her MFA in media art at UCLA. Kim explores a wide range of media and often combines traditional and digital fabrication tools and materials to manifest her interest in language, communication and to question what it means to be 'connected' in digital age. For Kim, understanding how we relate to our environments and how we ought to relate to our environments and other people motivates her to continue her art practice. Often, 'humor' plays a key role to arouse the audiences' imagination and provoke them to think more critically and creatively about sensitive or controversial issues. She is a recipient of Fellowships from University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA) and has exhibited throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. Kim currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

George Legrady

George Legrady is Chair of the arts-engineering Media Arts & Technology PhD program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, director of the Experimental Visualization Lab, and professor of digital media in the College of Engineering and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. He is an internationally published scholar and exhibiting media artist, a pioneer in the field of interactive digital media arts. His contribution to the field since the early 1990’s has been in creating digital media interactive installations based on a set of conceptual positions for intersecting cultural content with data processing. His current research engages with data visualization, robotic computational integrated photography, and digital visual ethnography. His computational based installations have been exhibited internationally in multiple venues from fine arts museums and galleries, alternative spaces, academic conferences, and public commissions. He has received awards from Creative Capital Foundation; the Daniel Langlois Foundation for the Arts, Science and Technology; the Canada Council; the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Science Foundation.

Juan Manuel Escalante

After seven years of studying architecture, Juan Manuel decided finally to dedicate his life to art. Recently, he has been using code as a creative medium. However his roles range from: non-formal piano composer, exhibition curator, publisher/author/editor, designer, teacher, writer, bio and sound artist. Throughout Realität (founded in 1998); his work has been shown in the US, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Mexico and also featured in many festivals including OFFF (Barcelona and Mexico), Mutek, Binario, Ceremonia, amongst others. He has been awarded twice with the “Young Creators” grant by the National Fund for the Arts (2010 and 2013). He is a former member of the Master and PhD program in Architecture (National Autonomous University of Mexico) where he teached and directed its Media Lab. He is currently doing research to achieve his PhD in Media Arts & Technology at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). Website: realitat.com/nationalanthem

Ryan McGee

Ryan Michael McGee is a software engineer, composer, and new media artist working in the fields of spatial audio, sonification, and synthesis. He holds a BSEE from the University of Texas at Dallas, a MS in Multimedia Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a PhD in Media Arts and Technology from UCSB. His music and sound design have been used by clients including Samsung and Dolby. He has created custom sound and lighting software for several multimedia venues including the Los Angeles Architecture and Design Museum and TED Vancouver. Ryan recently completed his PhD on Spatial Modulation Synthesis, a novel audio-visual synthesis technique unifying sound spatialization and timbre, which was demonstrated over a 54.1 channel sound system in the AlloSphere Research Facility. He is currently a Lecturer for the department of Art at UCSB while working on his own companies, Unfiltered Audio and Mezmo.

Erick Oh

Erick Oh is a Korean filmmaker / painter based in California, USA. His work has been introduced and nominated at Annecy Animation Festival, Hiroshima Animation Festival, Student Academy Awards, Zagreb Film Festival, SIGGRAPH, Anima Mundi, Ars Electronica and numerous other international film festivals and galleries world wide. After receiving his BFA from Fine Art Department at Seoul National University and his MFA from UCLA's film program, Erick joined Pixar Animation Studios as an animator in 2010.

F.Myles Sciotto

F. Myles Sciotto is a Ph.D Candidate at UCSB where he is finishing his dissertation on the evaluative and generative methods between architecture and music. He received his Masters of Architecture and the Best Thesis Honor from SCI-Arc and currently holds a Lecturer position at USC School of Architecture teaching studios that focus on the role of interactive systems and sound within the field of Architecture. www.soCinematic.com

Donghao Ren

Donghao Ren is a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science, University of California Santa Barbara. He received his bachelor degree from Peking University. His research “iVisDesigner: Expressive Interactive Design of Information Visualizations” has been published in IEEE InfoVis’14, “WeiboEvents: A Crowd Sourcing Weibo Visual Analytic System” has been published in IEEE PacificVis’14, and exhibited in the GeoCity SmartCity International Information Design Exhibition, Beijing Design Week, 2012.

Jieliang Luo

Jieliang Luo is a PhD student in the Department of Media Arts & Technology, University of California Santa Barbara. He received his master degree from University of Denver and his bachelor from Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications. “Voro Space: Simulation of The Generating Process of Voronoi Diagram in 3-D Space” has been selected as Honorable Mention for the “Art of Science” exhibition at the UC Santa Barbara Library, “Reporting on Boko Haram: Data Visualization of Influential Events in Boko Haram from 2009 to 2015” was presented at UCSB's Global Security Hub, June 2015.


Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10am-5pm

Location: Fellows of Contemporary Art, 970 N. Broadway, Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tel: (213) 808-1008 | Fax: (213)-808-1018

More info: foca website