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Visual trends in contemporary visual music practice

Visual trends in contemporary visual music practice

Kanellos, Emmanouil (2018) Visual trends in contemporary visual music practice. Body, Space & Technology, 17 (1):294. pp. 22-33. ISSN 1470-9120 (Online) (doi:

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The first concepts of Visual Music date back to the 1920s and they usually included silent or sound films that showed certain movements of graphics of pure forms and shapes visually. Although, these early graphics and their motions may have resembled geometrically recognisable shapes and patterns, they were meant to show abstract visualisations. The earlier Visual Music practitioners challenged themselves to create these works that would have as little representation of the physical world as possible, therefore incorporating abstraction as the main visual trend of Visual Music. Today, the traditional Visual Music is, for this reason, automatically associated with an artist’s abstract representation of sound. This study looks at and attempts to see whether there is a new trend in this area that could distinguish contemporary Visual Music from the traditional abstract Visual Music. The study examines whether there has been a shift from abstraction to representation after almost a hundred years of Visual Music. Fifty works were collected and analysed from the Sound Image colloquiums of 2016 and 2017, (University of Greenwich, 2017) in order to categorise contemporary Visual Music into groups according to: a) sound-image relationship; b) abstract-representational aesthetics, and c) presence or absence of the third dimension.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See
Uncontrolled Keywords: audio-visual music, visual music, hybrid media, digital arts, abstraction, representation, audio-visual art, sound, image, animation
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Digital Arts, Research & Enterprise (DARE)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 12:10

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