Research projects

Topic: synaesthesia

For about five years now, Prof. Makis Warlamis and the Waldviertel art museum deal with the topic of synaesthesia, i.e. the interconnection of two separate areas of perception. In particular, the museum presents the intertwined effects of music and image. The starting point of this research project was the finding and fact that most people find it difficult to listen to contemporary classical music because most people's auditory sense and mind are not prepared for and trained in the reception of contemporary ‚complicated‘ forms of music.

The research project is sociocultural with the objective of mediating contemporary classical music to people with little or without higher musical education. The goal is the synergy of two senses via  audiovisual projections. Our experiments are promising. Almost all participants, of different educational backgrounds, be it workers, be it musically educated people, respond with enthusiasm. The focus of these experiments is subject of current medical research.

Along with the perception of a symphonic work, pictorial compositions are projected, which nonetheless do not function as a pictorial background or illustration of the music. Both forms of media have their own rythm and tempo. The participants, the audience, enjoy the works of art as a pleasant visual experience. Due to the projections‘ characteristic abstraction and dynamics - without any enigmas or questions -, the perception satisfies the people’s curiosity.
The brain allows the images to stream in and transports the symphonic work along with the art, regardless of any subjective evaluation. The results of the experiments are astonishing. Almost all participants have responded according to the same pattern and perceived the audiovisual synergy as positive.


Topic: Introduction to the process of creative automatism

Particularly now in the computer era, this special research idea inspires children and adolescents but also adults to creative heights.

The methods, developed by Prof. Warlamis and his team, support particularly children and adolescents in their creative activity, by learning to use random structures, which form spontaneously, quickly and instantly, and to transform these initially unspectacular forms into impressive architectural, sculptural, pictorial or graphical compositions. During this creative process all participants experience a very good and intense feeling of accomplishment as the results are unimaginable and inconceivable but at the same time on a high artistic level and visualize amazing architectural formations.

In the last years, numerous projects have been realized and will be continued in 2015 and subsequent years. These projects were realized with pupils from the United States, Europe and Asia. In this manner, cross-cultural experiences were made that have demonstrated the applied methodology's ability to generate eminently fruitful results in many different cultures. The method is thus a universal one that overcomes cultural differences and gives children and young adults both the feeling and the concrete experience that they can achieve maximum results by means of their creative activity and works of art in a short period of time.