Audio Topography: The interaction of sound, space and medium

Supervisor Mark Delaere and co-supervisor Sven Sterken

In this PhD, I have tried to elucidate my position as an artist working with sound, among other materials. This first led me to the history of sound art and the construction of a sound work. What is sound? What is music? What is the difference between music and sound? In the twentieth century, these questions were further complicated by scientific and technological advances in sampling, processing, the synthesis of sounds and their precise distribution in space. Artists began to explore the architectural, spatial and physical qualities of sound, creating works which consisted predominantly or exclusively of sound. A new artistic discipline – sound art – arose, with a lesser focus on the organisation of time and a greater focus on the physical and spatial phenomenon of sound. Sound art interacts with the architectural environment in the sense that the topology of a building acts as a visual and aural cue for sound artists. To further answer the question of what form sound art may take, I established four categories of sound works that deal differently with the relationship between sound and architecture.  


Umwelten in kunst en architectuur

Project Leader: Esther Venrooij (LUCA Faculty of the Arts, RU Image, RG Art, Space & Context)

Team: Isolde Vanhee (LUCA Faculty of the Arts, RU Image, RG Art, Space & Context),Lucas Devriendt (LUCA Faculty of the Arts, RU Image, RG Art, Space & Context), Annelies De Smet (KU Leuven, Faculteit Architectuur), Joseph Kohlmaier  (London Metropolitan University)

Biologist Jacob Von Uexküll was not pondering over artistic practices when he launched the concept of the "Umwelt"  to describe the sensory world, the behavior, and the actions of animals and men (1934). Nevertheless, the idea of the" Umwelt" can be valuable to trace, describe and stimulate the working process of the artist and the architect. This research project aims to map the so-called "Umwelt" of the artist and the architect in order to develop innovative methods that incorporate the sensorial process. To arrive at an adequate design for urban space, an architect takes in the sounds of his surroundings and behaves as  a sound artist whereas a painter will appropriate the gaze of an architect to solve a painterly problem concerning the visual translation of that same urban space.

Upcoming Winter 2016: Website 'Umwelten - Seven Questions for Architects, Designers and Artists' with Karel Martens, Matthew Kneebone, Rie Nakajima, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Marc Nagtzaam, Hans Demeulenaere, Kallabris, ...

Upcoming spring 2017: Publication 'Between the Fiction and Me - Umwelten of Architects and Artists',  a collection of essays and fictions by Matthew Kneebone, Sarah & Charles, Paul Elliman, Arjen Mulder, Lucas Devriendt, Bart Decroos, Ine Meganck, Isolde Vanhee, Annelies Desmet, Joseph Kohlmaier, Institute for Politcal Innovation, Emi Kodama and Esther Venrooij