Intermodal Expression: Visual Sound and Acoustic Image?

Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis


  • Rūta Mickienė



intermediality, modality, intermodality, typography, acoustics, actualization


In the article, the theory of intermediality as intermodality, de­ veloped by the Scandinavian theorist Lars Elleström and based on Charles S. Peirce’s understanding of sign, is discussed in the perspective of graphic design. Referring to the intermediality approach, which is seldom applied in Lithuania, and using the analogies of music and typography parameters, the author of the article analyzes the musical scores by modern composers of untraditional expression, radical rule­-defying typography, and herownwork. The works of the founders of typographic musical scores, modernist composers John Cage, Sylvano Bussotti, Cornelius Cardew, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, acoustic typographers Filipp Tommaso Marinetti and Guillaume Apollinaire, rebellious designers Wolfgang Weingart and his students Dan Friedman, Da­ vid Carson, as well as the author of the article are discussed. Applying the intermedial model for the analysis of musical scores and works of graphic de­signers reveals close links between sound and image both in creative practice and the perception of works. The author of the article is looking for answers how sound or music is actualized in the visual art field, how the visual and acoustic perception interact, and what conditions are necessary to make this interaction happen. In the conclusions, the importance of “actualization” of a work through a technical medium and further development of this intermedial relation in the fields of musical scores, typography and visual communication is formulated.

Author Biography

Rūta Mickienė

Rūta Mickienė is a Doctor of Arts in design and a graphic designer. In 1988–1994, she studied design at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, in 2012, obtained her Licentiate of Arts, and in 2017, defended a doc­ toral thesis titled The Open Work in Visual Design: A Model for Psychoemotional Personal Development. Mickienė’s creative interests are predominantly focused on the visualization of sound and voice. Her project Aqua Lingua represented Lithuania and was nominated in the lifestyle category at the World Summit Awards contest in interactive contents organized by the United Nations (2013) and re­ ceived a bronze award in the category of conceptual projects at A’Design Awards competition (2014). Since 2012, Rūta has been participating in international exhibitions, conferences and TV shows, and leading creative workshops on interaction, sound visualization, and application of technologies in creative practices. She has published articles on the topics of sound visualization and open work in scholarly journals, and teaches communication design to graphic design students.

Vytautas Gečas, Marija Puipaitė, „Romance & Gravity“, 2020. Fotografija / Photo by: Darius Petrulaitis

Additional Files



How to Cite

Mickienė, R. (2021). Intermodal Expression: Visual Sound and Acoustic Image? Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (103), 332–360.



Artistic Research