Materials systems and autonomy in electromechanical sound art

Pigott, J (2017) Materials systems and autonomy in electromechanical sound art. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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Abstract

Sound art is a difficult to categorise and broad genre description that draws together modes of creative practice which use sound as a medium or a subject. The field is considered to be critically underrepresented and under-theorised despite an increase of attention and popularity since the 1990s (Licht 2007, 2001, Cox 2009). This is partly as a consequence of an analytical and historical emphasis on textual and conceptual approaches which dominated the arts through the 1970s and 1980s (Cox 2011, 2013). In particular, acknowledgement of the influence of object-based and kinetic sculpture within the field of sound art is found to be inadequate (Chau 2014, Keylin 2015). This thesis presents an original body of sound art practice as a means through which to uncover and explore connections between sound art, experimental composition, kinetic art and sculpture. The term 'electromechanical' is used to identify this work, highlighting its particular concerns with the use of electrically animated or amplified materials. Through the production, exhibition, critical appraisal and contextualisation of the work new observations and distinctions within the field are presented. These include the identification of a 'closed system aesthetic' and the distinction between robotic and process driven approaches to electromechanical sound art. A further contribution to the field consists of a detailed consideration of sound art emerging from an intersection of experimental music and sculptural practices during the 1960s. The original works produced for the project, and their production are documented and described in detail alongside existing canonical and contemporary examples of sound art. Analysis of these works is informed by materialist and object-orientated critical positions, and science and technology studies. The method of art practice as research is described and extended in an original way that encompasses and applies a systems approach to creative practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: creative practice, sound, sound art, object-based sculpture, kinetic sculpture, experimental composition, experimental music, electrically animated materials, electrically amplified materials, closed system aesthetic, robotic approach, process-driven approach, electromechanical sound art, sculpture, sound objects, sound sculpture, material systems, materialist media, sonic materialism, creative systems as method
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2018 15:16
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2018 15:16
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