I love a good visual metaphor.
Even in an age where everything can be recorded, we are used to thinking of voices as somewhat ephermeral, fleeting. Painter Angela He (a.k.a. Visaga) has shown our voices can have a lot more solidity to them.
Despite some transparency in the cones, these visualized voices have real weight and presence. The voice to the lower left looks like it is coughing out, the main figure of the young woman in the center appears to have a strong, steady voice flowing out.
When we think of using images for science and tech communication, the trends today are to use photos, clear scientific illustrations, or flat, bright vector illustrations. Paintings like this, that have one foot in the fantasy illustration and videogame/movie concept art worlds, could lend themselves tremendously to describing scientific concepts in ways even researchers may not have considered. Imagine if this was the cover to MacWorld or Wired.
When I look at this painting, I think about how permanent and strong our communication can be when we own it, when we sign our voices with our own signatures. The young woman in this painting has things on her mind (tree; bread; baby) and communicating those real-to-her thoughts through the symbolic method of speech is important enough for her to raise her head and her voice.
The other shadowy figures in this painting are not listening - but it doesn't matter. This is this woman's moment in the compositional spotlight. Her voice carries off panel to those who are listening. And this is what the reality of smartphones tethered to an internet has brought us. Her voice can carry to those who care.
Maybe you see something different. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @Symbiartic.
See more of Angela He's work: