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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

The World of Visual Sound is brought to the Portland Building

July 8, 2016

The Portland Building’s July art installation, Visual Sound, takes a multimedia approach, representing sound visually through ceramic sculpture.

Artist Yelena Roslaya used her unique experience with hearing-motion synthesia to create large-scale ceramic sculptures that draw on Udu drum forms.

Hearing-motion synthesia is when one sense triggers another — in her case, she experiences implied motion or sound as a visual image. Her work is inspired by the way people perceive and understand sound.

Roslaya’s process began by recording everyday sounds throughout the Portland Building. She then used FL Studio software to translate the recordings into graphic wave images, which she attached to the walls of the installation space. Underneath these prints are her “sound wave sculptures,” whose glaze colors were determined by the color that corresponded to the sound on the “color-noise” spectrum. To complete this sensory experience, Yelena included mp3 devices that play back the original sounds for visitors to hear. 

Each year, the Regional Arts & Culture Council reserves several exhibition opportunities, like this one, for university-level students pursuing the arts. Selected through a jury process, each installation brings something unique and thought-provoking to the art space.

Roslaya’s sensorial and distinctive exhibition is available to view in the Portland Building lobby July 5 through August 5, 2016.

Visit the RACC’s website for more information on the installation space and exhibit.

Portland Building Installation Art Series

1120 SW 5th Avenue

8 am – 5 pm