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Materializing sound

Martin Beauregard, an artist-researcher at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), is renewing the creative processes related to sounds, images and objects. As part of a recent project, he made sounds material in the form of 3D printed sculptures.

He turned to sound archives of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels and Istanbul in 2016 and 2017. The online footage isn’t of the violence per se but of the ensuing commotion in the neighborhoods where the assaults took place.

Martin Beauregard integrated the images and sounds into 3D animation software. The exercise consisted in making items placed in virtual scenes vibrate using sounds from the archives, as if radio waves were contaminating the space to the point of transforming everyday objects. The forms that took shape were then modeled in 3D and printed to create projects including Another Day, Rattle and Grenades. The resulting sculptures are the material imprints of the sounds that were used to make the virtual environments vibrate.

That concept of traces or imprints is often linked to visual art and photography in particular but rarely to sculpture. Beauregard’s work shows that objects can encapsulate a memory and even translate sound archives into innovative forms.

The project is among a series of initiatives that significantly contributed to the creation of the Laboratoire intersectoriel d’impression 3D in October 2022 and to the development of new digital processes to translate sounds into visuals.