Ellen Hackl Fagan




Influenced by scientific theories-both real and imagined, my abstract paintings, computer games and interactive performances build connections between color and sound.

The ColorSoundGrammar Game enables viewers to practice sensory blending, or synaesthesia, as they pair colors with each note of the familiar Do re mi musical scale. While interacting in this playful manner, we discuss their thoughts about color and music in-depth.

Documenting their responses in a computerized version of the game enables me to build a database of color/sound pairs. To date well over 600 people have played my ColorSoundGrammar Game. I have observed that certain consistencies in peoples’ color/sound choices are emerging.

From the data gathered, I often create paintings using a palette that is determined from gamers’ color/sound pairs. I exercise artistic license when it comes to decisions made about composition and subject, while the palette is chosen from a drawn-out process of testing and data mining. Together, they bring a wonderful completion to this pseudo-scientific investigation and celebrate painting in all its glossy, gooey glory. 


ColorSoundGrammar 3

ColorSoundGrammar 1 & 2