Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Microphones in a landscape : sound, place and the ecological model of perception
Author: Chapman, David Malcolm
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 4203
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This doctoral research aims to advance critical understanding of the ways in which the developing and expanding field of sound-based art engages with the particularities of place and environment. Through a theoretical contextualisation of both my own sound-based work and installations and the work of other practitioners, I investigate the ways in which sitespecific sonic art is capable of interrogating established notions of place and of developing new knowledge about it. One of the objectives of both contextualisation and investigation is to contribute critically and originally to a politics of location, place and environment. Although these areas are in a constant state of flux, they are now made more vulnerable by the increasing pressures of globalisation and the acceleration of technological and economic development. Today sonic art tends to be discussed on the basis of two paradigms, each of which was formulated in relation to specific aesthetic and philosophical traditions: the visual arts and, more particularly, art-critical perspectives on conceptualism; and the phenomenology of audition. I argue that these approaches leave much ground uncovered. Central to my investigation is thus an exploration of the perceptual mechanisms by which an audience engages with sound-based work. For this I draw on the ecological theory of perception to propose a new methodology. Within ecological models of perception an individual can be regarded as a ‘perceptual system’: a mobile organism that seeks information from a coherent environment. In my thesis I relate this concept to notions of the spatial address of sound installations in order to explore (a) how the human perceptual apparatus relates to the technology of sound diffusion and (b) how this impacts on individuals’ engagement with sound-based work and on their ability to experience such work as complex sonic ‘environments’. The focus on installations also opens up questions of ‘site-specificity’, a term that enables me to examine the ways in which recent sonic art practice has engaged with the particularities and politics of place. This review leads me to the questions this thesis seeks to address: can sound-based work promote critical engagement with the historical specificity, the knowledge and the politics of place? Can the ecological theory of perception aid the understanding of how the listener engages with sound installations? In proposing answers to these questions, my thesis intends to formulate and advance a coherent analytical framework that may lead us to a more systematic grasp of the ways in which individuals, through the relatively new category and practice of sonic art, engage aesthetically with space and environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available