Daniela Côrtes Maduro, João Couceiro e Castro, Sérgio Rebelo, and Pedro Martins

Sonar is a web-based audiovisual interactive artwork, which employs a rule‑based system to generate multimodal artifacts. A collection of testimonies (poems, diary entries, interviews) from several writers describing the Carnation Revolution, and the end of a dictatorship, is used as the source text of this generative work. As is often the case with technology, a sonar is a surveillance and detection technique initially developed for military purposes. In this work, however, similar devices will be used to track testimonies about the revolution which took place on the 25th April 1974 in Portugal. This sonar detects markers which become temporarily highlighted (in the form of geo-referenced markers) during the scanning sonar’s 360° sweep in a submerged world. A multimodal representation combining typographic and visual elements, as well as a sound file containing the testimony, is then triggered by the user. In order to create this work, a thorough research was conducted to recover the words of several writers and artists who have witnessed this period of change. Sonar not only allows us to preserve the memory of an important moment in the history of Portugal, but also demonstrates how digital media and electronic literature can be used to voice social concerns.

About the Artists

Daniela Côrtes Maduro holds a master degree in Anglo-American Studies and a PhD in Materialities of Literature from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. She has been collaborating with several digital archives and projects focused on the study of narrative, digital media, multimodality, experimental and electronic literature. She currently collaborates with the Center for Portuguese Literature at the University of Coimbra.

João Couceiro e Castro is a multimedia artist and designer with a Master’s Degree in Design and Multimedia at the University of Coimbra with a self-proposed thesis project called «Máquina de Ouver» in which he explored new ways to visually represent speech expressiveness through typographic manipulation and developed a system that turns sound recordings into typographic artifacts. This project resulted in a new media artwork awarded at the Moscow International Typomania Festival 2019. His main interests rest in sound, typography, computational art & creativity and graphic & editorial design. Currently he’s enrolled in the Doctoral Program of Information Science and Technology at the University of Coimbra and he’s a researcher at the Computational Design and Visualization Lab while trying to keep his soul as a co-founder of Divisa. art & design collective.

Sérgio Rebelo is a Portuguese cross-media designer and media artist. Currently, he is a researcher and PhD candidate at the Cognitive and Media Systems group of the Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra (Portugal). He holds a bachelor and a master degree in Design and Multimedia (2016) from the University of Coimbra. His work was exhibited in some national and international cultural venues, conferences and art festivals, such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Lisbon, Portugal), c arte c — Centro de Arte Complutense (Madrid, Spain), 21st Cultural Week of University of Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal), Palacio Euskalduna (Bilbao, Spain) or at the Mostra Jovens Criadores 2017 (Mangualde, Portugal) and 2018 (Oeiras, Portugal). He is a founding-member of Há Baixa collective (2016), a multidisciplinary collective founded by architects, artists and designers focused on the development and promotion of social art and design practices in the Coimbra Historical Centre. Since 2017, he is Invited Teaching Assistant in the Bachelor of Design and Multimedia at the University of Coimbra.

Pedro Martins holds a PhD degree in Computer Science, an MSc degree in Informatics and Systems, and a BSc degree in Mathematics from the University of Coimbra. His research interests are in the fields of Computational Creativity, Sonification, Sound Art and Computational Art. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Informatics Engineering of the University of Coimbra and a researcher at the Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra.