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Sound Received: immersion, listening and anthropology

Kent, J (2016) Sound Received: immersion, listening and anthropology. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Immerse yourself in a world of sound and approximations. This practice-­led research is concerned with critically examining the roots and contemporary significance of immersion within sonic art and everyday life. This body of work has resulted from research into key issues repositioning the term immersion outside the normal parameters of art investigating the intertwining relationship between immersion, listening and anthrophony. The research has been informed by the working methods of selected contemporary artists using field recordings within various interior environments. Rigorous listening to works has also influenced and driven this research forward to search for definitions of immersion. The author analyses the sonic works produced by reflecting on his own practice, with the thesis focused on the works produced rather than any alternative historical notion of sonic arts. The thesis critically examines a collection of works perceived as immersive in nature and secondly explores the interaction with personal sonorous environments. This thesis presents a series of informative and illuminating original interviews that have reinforced expanded elements of immersion presented in the examination of the practice-­led aspects of the work. These primary source interviews give a wide spectrum of opinions and experiences enabling the term and practices of immersion to be viewed outside the commonly viewed perceptions and practices that immersion evokes with artists’, audiences and individuals. Thirteen interviews with international artists’, curators and contemporary writers reflect on their personal experiences of immersion in art and critical methodological influences and practices. The interviews also discuss the contested adjectives that the term immersion evokes and the wider reaching impacts of the term beyond popular usages of the term. These essential interviewees include: Alan Dunn (multidisciplinary artist), BJ Nilsen (field recordist and sound artist), Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (researcher and sound artist), Chris Watson (field recordist and artist), Christine Sun Kim (sound artist), Daniela Cascella (curator, researcher and contemporary writer), David Hendy (researcher and contemporary writer), Francisco Lopez (sound artist), Hildegard Westerkamp (composer and sound ecologist), Markus Soukup (film and sound artist) Matthew Herbert (electronic musician), Ross Dalziel (Local Curator) and Sebastiane Hegarty (visual and sound artist). This primary research brings together, for the first time, a broad spectrum of experiences, opinions and views on immersion in sonic art and everyday life and re-­considers the challenges presented when examining this theme. An accompanying collection of artistic recordings using three distinct methods is also presented as an integrated part of the thesis. First, using mobile phones to record the author’s everyday travels, conversations and movements. Secondly, it utilises the habituated environments and the in/significance of each reverberation by presenting recordings using delicate contact microphones. The third method utilises the phenomenological and abstract memories from the author’s autobiographical past, reconstructing the distant but real recollections. These methods illuminate the author’s immersive resonating capsule of isolated existence including and portraying the fragmented and often distorted everyday sonorous experience. Sound Received: Immersion, Listening and Anthrophony generates alternative and renewed thinking on immersion, re-­definitions illuminating historical moments that have shaped much of the research. The unique collection of interviews and sonic recordings contributes to the expanding area of sonic discourse and offers a unique contribution to the field.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sound Immersion; Listening; Anthrophony; Environments; Perception
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Liverpool School of Art and Design
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 09:09
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 08:13
Supervisors: Lincoln, S and Fallows, C
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4049

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