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Title: On the threshold of the audible and the visible : artists' time-based experiments to disclose discrete phenomena and traces of lived experiences in resonant spaces
Author: Wilson, Louise K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 1240
Awarding Body: University of Derby
Current Institution: University of Derby
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores certain ways m which contemporary artists are using methodologies of sound (recording, editing, manipulating and installation) to ask philosophical and material questions about the spatio-temporal physicality of place and our perceptions of it. It focuses primarily on the practice of three artists who have each been interviewed by the author. The artists were selected for the diverse and resonant ways in which their work interrogates the interplay between sound, spatial experience and the visual. While the works are principally sound-based, there are crucial visual components that heighten the physical engagement of the listening body. The concept of the visual has a broad reference here, and is instantiated by both mediated and actual spaces. These examples will range from works where sound and video imagery are spatially composed as installation (Jacob Kirkegaard) to soundwalks where the participant undertakes semi-directed journey around specific city locations in order to listen in on invisible electromagnetic fields (Christina Kubisch). Focusing upon an analysis of the use of sound mirroring and convolution reverberation, the thesis identifies and explores a series of 'tropes' relating to sonic art practices. It also contrasts material and cultural theorisation of sound art practice arising out of a recent, very public debate between artist! theorist Seth Kim-Cohen and philosopher Christoph Cox - attempting a synthesis of what is valuable in each of these positions. Ultimately a diverse range of sonic art practices, their technological paraphernalia, and the materialist ontology that is often used to contextualise these practices are positioned in ritualistic terms, as a secular means of amplifying the significance or sacredness of culturally resonant spaces. This reading of sonic art practice is developed out of reflection upon the themes and tensions between rumour, narrative and materiality that I recognise as conditioning much of my own practice. Partly as a means of supporting this position, original readings of works by Lucier, Kirkegaard and Kubisch are formulated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available