Spatial Sound

Imagining the Hyperspace (2017)

IOANN, Paul Oomen

"The world around us certainly seems to be three-dimensional: the space and objects within it have length, height and depth. We perceive this through our human senses: we have two eyes and two ears that produce two-dimensional nerve signals allowing the brain to interpret the perceived information and build a three-dimensional picture of the world. But how come we are so sure that there are only three spatial dimensions? Who said that what we perceive is the real world, rather than a shadow theatre, the projection of something more complex that surpasses our ordinary renditions of perception? From a mathematical point of view, there seems no problem to add any required number of dimensions. How could we then recognise four-dimensional objects, if they would exist? And how can we project them into our three-dimensional reality? And if there is a fourth dimension, what prevents the existence of a fifth? Is there a limit?"

These are some of the central questions in IOANN's central work Imagining The Hyperspace. Curated as part of 4DSOUND: Reflections From the Inner Mirror, IOANN presents a series of nine sculptures of each a particular geometrical shape in sound - from very simple ones, such as a line, triangle and square to highly complex ones such as the pentatope and octaplex. The intention of the work is to enable the listener an intuitive, physically embodied experience of complex multidimensional structures and geometrical concepts.

Together with Paul Oomen, he created Imagining The Hyperspace which seeks to reveal the multidimensional nature of listening. Geometrical sound shapes, manifesting themselves physically in a three-dimensional space, become (at least) four-dimensional as the listener discovers himself to be a defined point that is part of the shape. Thus, the perception of shape changes each time we move through space, tilt our heads or rotate our bodies. We become essentially aware that the construct of space we perceive is an attribute of our consciousness, and that this perception can be altered.

Imagining the Hyperspace invites to explore space beyond our ordinary perception, to discover what else is inherent to human nature and how we are able to evolve consciousness, using sound to attain a deeper awareness of space and its multidimensional character.

As part of the project Ivan Sapozhkov, in collaboration with software developer Casimir Geelhoed, created 4D shapesynth, a software generator of various geometrical forms in the space in real time. This software is capable of creating objects in 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 spatial dimensions, where vertices are representing virtual sound sources and edges are corresponding to the spatial relations between the sources in each geometrical shape.

4D shapesynth device allows to change position, size and dimensions of geometrical figures. It has 4 groups of rotation around XYZW axes and it virtually projects onto 4DSOUND acoustical matrix.

Examples using 4D shapesynth:

Point - 1 sound source:

Line - 2 sound sources:

Triangle - 3 sources etc:

3D cube - 8 vertices - 8 sound sources:

4D shapesynth develops the principle of “sound mapping”, where single sound is split to components and sent to create the whole figure.

4D structures are represented as 3D projections, that are changing and morphing in accordance with rotations in 4-dimensional pseudo-Euclidean space.

Example of a 4D cube or Tesseract :