Thesis Info

Thesis Title
The Revolution is Hear! Sound Art, the Everyday and Aural Awareness
Florian Hollerweger
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Queen's University Belfast
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Pedro Rebelo, Prof. Michael Alcorn
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Sonic Arts Research Centre
Languages Familiar to Author
German, English
URL where full thesis can be found
aural culture, technologically mediated listening, modes of listening, mobile listening, social listening, acoustic ecology, aestheticised listening, aural awareness, the everyday, sound art
Abstract: 200-500 words
This thesis presents a body of practical and theoretical work, which interprets sound art as a means of encouraging aural awareness in an everyday context. Through a methodological feedback loop of artistic practice and theoretical reflection, strategies for the aestheticisation of everyday aural experience have been developed and situated within a wider context of contemporary aural culture. The current state of this culture is critically examined. The widespread claim that we live in a deeply visualised culture is questioned. It is argued that contemporary Western society can also be characterised in terms of an increasing interest in auditory perception, which the development of sound art as an artistic discipline is one symptom of. The technological mediation of listening is discussed and characterised in terms of a mobilisation and individuation of aural experience. An overview of different listening modes informs a discussion of six different perspectives on sound as a physical and perceptual phenomenon. Various listening practices, which have been proposed in the field of sound art, are presented. It is argued that the development of sound art as an artistic discipline can be characterised in terms of an interest in the everyday as a source of sound material on one, and as an environment for aestheticised listening on the other hand. Sound art is proposed as a means of auralising the rhythms inherent to everyday life, and subtlety is identified as an aesthetic category for doing so. It is investigated how technological mediation can be applied to the aestheticisation of mobile and social listening experiences. The above issues have been addressed by means of artistic practice. The results of this process are presented as a portfolio of eight artworks, including sound installations, public interventions, site-specific electroacoustic pieces, graphical scores and mobile hardware projects.