‘Sound beams’ take students into world of art and light at Dartmouth Academy

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Dartmouth Academy art students have been using new technology to create works of art.

Year Nine students at the academy have been using ‘Sound Beam’ to create visual art. Sound Beam is a technology using motion sensors – rather like the Xbox Kinnect – which pick up the movements of students and create sound or images that change as people move.

The students were involved in a four-week project, which the academy’s advanced skills teacher in art and design, Nicola Perrott, organised with South Dartmoor Community College’s John Bradford – AST in Photography – and Rachel Ellis – AST in Music.

The students took pictures of and created animations based on ‘reactive’ experiments in science, so as they moved a video scream showed a series of amazing images and animations.

Students photographed and recorded the sound of explosive experiments in science and uploaded their images to create a series of animations visually narrating the scientific reactions.

These animations as well as sequential still images were loaded onto the sound beam software which was then shared with other students. If someone walked through the beam each frame was played back in sequence creating the effect of an animated film with sound.

The students taking part were: Lorna Elliott, Chloe Clarke, Alicia Wadeson, Holly Stone, Ben Runacres, Rachel Browse, Tom Jones, Sam Pershing, Ben Mills, Rhys Martin, Polly Bailey, Bevan Thompson, Wesley Richmond, Ed Martin, Jake Jewsbury and Harry Gough.

The students worked collaboratively exploring new skills and subjects using digital photography, accessing specialist software to manipulate and animate the resulting photographs and using Sound Beam to create an interactive performance.

Nicola Perrott said: ‘This approach to multi disciplinary practice is something we regularly explore with highly successful outcomes. Students were amazed at the outcomes as well as the processes with one saying “Wow, this is so cool learning about science in art”.’