Enphonic Graphomania, the visual sound of mania

Enphonic Graphomania

In the First Surrealist Manifesto (1924) surrealism was defined in terms of automatism: “pure psychic automatism, by which an attempt is made to express, either verbally, in writing or in any other manner, the true functioning of thought”. One of the drawing techniques adopted to reveal the unconscious was Entopic Graphomania in which a dot is made at the site of each impurity or difference in colour in a blank sheet of paper, and then lines are drawn between the dots. In his latest work, Enphonic Graphomania (EG), Patrick Harrop has been inspired by this technique and has applied it to an interactive framework. EG is “an interactive drawing interface developed as a device for the co-structured development of drawing and sound pieces through the gestural and material actions of traditional drawing techniques”. You can interact with EG board using traditional tools: a pencil, archival paper and an eraser. The exercise consists of connecting 32 points marked by sensors on the page with graphite lines. The lines are generated spontaneous movements of the hand. As graphite is a conductor material, the denser the lines are the higher the voltage the sensors perceive. The variations are interpreted via algorithms based on the modulation of waves and are translated into sound. As Harrop puts it “The aim is an interdependent piece, mutually evolved through the craft of a practiced hand.” The word ‘entoptic’ derives from the Greek word meaning ‘within vision’. It refers to images that arise from within the optical system rather than from the outside world. In EG’s case the automatism still stays in the vision, but the intersemiotic translation is performed via the gesture and revealed by a unique sound. The eye sees the dots, the hand draws and the sound reveals the stream of consciousness. The result is the visual sound of mania.

Valentina Culatti