Sound Portrait Machine (2016)
While viewing a color reproduction of one of three works of art from the Hirshhorn collection, a user plays a custom-built console filled with buttons that, when pressed, produce sounds that generate an improvised “sound portrait” of the work or art. This sound portrait could be an expression of the user’s sense of what the artwork might be “saying” to the world, the user’s own impressions of and/or feelings about the work, or any other motive they choose.
Each user’s performance was recorded and made available for download as an MP3 file if they shared their email address.
Users selected from three Hirshhorn collection objects as a reference/inspiration for their sound portraits. They were selected for their variety of form and materials.
Pretty Discreet (06.17)
Number 3, 1949: Tiger (72.235)
Voltri XV (66.4643)
Audio trigger shield
ZOOM HD-5 recorder
Roland Sound Cube
photos by Neal Johnson, © Amy Rankin, © Susan Gravatt, © Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden