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Sonic Peripheries: Middling With/In the Event

This exposition showcases select parts of the doctoral dissertation from which it derives its title. To access the full thesis, follow the link to Leiden University Scholarly Publications (http://hdl.handle.net/1887/77342). The purpose of this exposition is to present a non-linear reading experience featuring a range of materials, including artifacts from a course of research events (see/visit Online Addendum) and individual experimental chapters (see/click, e.g., Experimenting Sound/Non-Sound). About the research and dissertation The research explores what and how sound does in certain art practices; it lends an ear to so-called ‘material-discursive’ events that come into expression as in/determined sonic occurrences through aesthetic practices. Likewise, the research done in and through the arts attunes to the vibrational immanence that underlies all experience. This view considers the sonic as a vibrational force and an affective, affirmative, albeit paradoxical event: oscillating between matter and matter-mattering, intuited as intensive force and apprehended as ‘aesthetic figure’ through sensation. This ambiguity or sense of betweenness is felt throughout the thesis and lies at the heart of the inquiry, which asks, among other questions: How do the material conditions of a sonic artwork-performance (the content) and the ensuing sensations (the form of expression) co-emerge; how are they produced in one another? The dissertation has three main objectives. Firstly, it describes sonic art practice as experimental research and makes a case for curating such practices as a form of research; it positions this type of research as a contribution to new forms of knowledge and provides a resource for future research-creations and (reform of) evaluation practices. Secondly, it brings together philosophy and art to elaborate a genuine manner of working with sonic matter (mattering); it conceptualizes and materializes novel ways of thinking, and creates a case for writing itself as practice and curating/producing art as theory; that is, it seeks to practice what it theorizes and vice versa. Thirdly, it advocates a certain transformation of self that lets us side-step ourselves, intervene and invent possible worlds or future fabulations. Practicing a process-oriented exploration complexifies as it advances; it creates resonances between theory and practice, between audience and sound art, between the written thesis – inclusive of presented artifacts – and the reader. It wants not to reduce but foster awareness of the ongoing complexity of life.

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