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Title: Contact zones and elsewhere fields : the poetics and politics of environmental sound arts
Author: Wright, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 4490
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2015
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How is agency distributed “in the field” and how can the practice of field recording critically manifest the relationship between humans and non-humans? This thesis posits an original art practice of field recording based on a perspective I am calling “Inter-agential”. Employing the self-reflexive anthropological turn of the 1970’s as parallel critique throughout, I argue environmental sound art has ignored the politics of observer-subject relations and instead engaged place and sound through divisive legacies of conservation and composition. I propose a hybrid conceptual framework from contemporary sound and anthropological studies that foregrounds issues relating to ethics, agency and representation. These subjects are examined in practice by converting “the field” into a collaborative and contested arena for intervention and performance. The result is a unique and formally diverse body of work that seeks to actively disrupt, critique and re-imagine the ontological foundations of field recording through an original and politicised aesthetics. All practice-based experimentation has been conducted in one fixed location along the North-East Coast of England called South Gare. It is an industrial and ecologically embroiled site, both in terms of its history and present day impact. I situate this site-specific setting through artistic legacies found in Land Art. This context helps to re-imagine modes of documentation, production and subjectivity within field recording and builds a nuanced understanding of the field in relation to the representation of place and sonic experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sound Arts & Design