Seeing the Sound

A Reflection of Self-Identity as an East Asian Woman

Problem Statement

How might we explore what it means to be an East Asian woman in America by visualizing an audio file from a day-in-a-life. Using different forms to visualize the same audio file by mapping features of sound to features of visual representation.  

Seeing the Sound Visualization 1

"This project is an experiment to visualize sound as a way to express identity. The audio file I tried to visualize was obtained by recording what I say in a day as an international student from East Asia. Self-identity is partly constituted by languages, words, the ways people talk and communicate. I examined how I talk in a day to reflect who I am and what do I say as who I am"

Keyi Ding'23 

The Experience

Austin Bunn explores Keyi Ding's poster
Director Austin Bunn encounters Keyi Ding's Seeing the Sound project at the 2022 Milstein Expo

What do I mean when I say that I'm an East Asian woman?  

What do I say and what do I do as an East Asian woman?  

How do I see my voice?  What's the color of my voice?  What's the dimensionality of my voice?  

The Visualizations

The visualization process is done by using Processing, a graphical library and IDE for new media art. Different attributes of sound– amplitude, rhythm, frequency– were mapped to attributes of visual representation. Some of the visual attributes I experimented mapping to are color, shape, movement.  I also experimented with visualizing the sound in different dimensions.  

Visualization 2


Visualization 3


Milstein Students