Steven Berkowitz is a multimedia artist whose base is photography. He shoots sequences of photographs to capture patterns in nature. He then translates these patterns into sound using a process called ‘sonification’. When the photos and sound are installed in a gallery together, the same image is presented to both the eyes and ears, presenting the possibility of a ‘synaesthetic’ experience. The philosophical base for this work is the concept of ‘Lateral Imaging’ that indicates a unified view of the world.

Steven is currently Associate Professor at Tyler School of Art / Temple University, where he is the Area Head of Photography in the Department of Art & Art Education.


Steven began experimenting with graphic composition in undergraduate school. His drawings and etchings of organic forms were used to determine the structure of musical scores. He then played these on guitar and an early Moog studio synthesizer.

He began programming algorithmic composition on computers when he entered graduate school in the middle 1970's, using a mainframe computer at Temple University in Philadelphia. Later he shifted to a PDP-11 mini-computer and then worked through a series of Apple computers through the 1980's and 90’s and now does all of his work at the Lateral Imaging Digital Studios in New York on Apple MacIntosh computers.

The philosophy behind the music is to use organic patterns from his photographic studies of organic structure to compose musical scores that are fluid and free. The translation of visual to aural involves the technique where the placement of organic forms in visual space defines the placement of musical notes in harmonic space. 

The photographs create the music.  Steven’s job is just taking the right photos.



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