mono Taps CRASH+SUES for Cross-Platform Initiative For Parsons
Press release from CRASH+SUES:
Minneapolis, MN -- CRASH+SUES was called upon by mono to bring its fresh aesthetic to the editing, color correction and graphics for SoundAffects, Parsons The New School for Design’s multi-platform exploration of the relationship between music, design and technology. Conceived by mono, a Minneapolis-based advertising agency known for its forward-thinking creative solutions, the physical installation, online experiment and media content are driven by the renowned New York City school's mission to raise people’s awareness of design’s relevance and impact on their lives.
The first phase of the experiment began with the installation of an interactive wall on New York’s Fifth Avenue. The structure housed a series of monitors and a complex network of sensors, each assigned a specific sound and color, enabling it to cull data about elements in its environment – from traffic and people to weather and movement - and then musically visualize them to show their correlation to sound and color. Pedestrians could plug earphones into jacks in the wall and listen to how their surroundings were influencing the music. CRASH+SUES collaborated with mono on the crafting of visually captivating and thought-provoking media content designed to break down the complex premise behind the experiment and present Parson's unique perspective on how they interpret design's role in the world. ("http://soundaffectsnyc.com/#making). Featured on the SoundAffects website, the creative communications tool delivers an elegantly simple message in a way that engages and intrigues everyday people.
CRASH+SUES’ editor Carrie Shanahan cut the piece on Final Cut Pro, marrying footage of the installation wall with images of cityscapes, traffic and people moving to the pulse of lights and the rhythm of the music they generate – along with by-passers who stop to put on headphones and plug into the wall and share their thoughts about it. The video opens with the voiceover posing a simple question: What if, instead of just looking at the world, we also listened? It goes on to explain the premise behind the project: We listened to the light, the temperature, the connective, the movement, the noise and the colors of a city block in New York. We built a wall on Fifth Avenue that housed sensors, which allowed us to gather inputs that created a musical composition that responded directly to the environment around them. In addition to the music, we created a ‘visualizer’ that interpreted the sensor data and let us see our environment from a new point of view. Then we watched and we listened.
Shanahan began the editorial process by roughing out the visuals to fit with the story as it unfolded, incorporating text as needed and drawing from multiple sources to create sound design tailored to the imagery. Working with over two-dozen tracks of video concurrently, as well as intricately layered video, the potentially overwhelming story was woven into a tapestry of dynamic visuals driven by the script’s clear message.
“Editorial decisions had to be well thought out in order to ensure that we captured the essence of the journey, and used interviews, text and audio most effectively,” says Shanahan. “I cut a number of different versions and we experimented with many incarnations until we found just the right balance. What’s amazing is mono’s ability to communicate the essence of this complex experiment about a seemingly abstract hypothesis with a simply engaging story – without getting technical or heady,” says Shanahan.