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Transcribing Reality: how the nature of audio and visual media have affected culture, perception, and the role of the artist.

Bailie, J. E. C. (2017). Transcribing Reality: how the nature of audio and visual media have affected culture, perception, and the role of the artist.. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The research presented in this thesis was motivated by my own need as a composer to position my work within the broadening of artistic practice that has become a significant aspect of the contemporary music scene. Roughly speaking, this research consists of two interconnected topics: the nature of the complex relationship between reality and the means we have to record it, and a rethinking of the audio visual correlations that might arise as a result of such an investigation into the workings of media. Through the study of these two topics, further important issues will be brought to light such as the distinction between discrete and continuous recording methods, ideas of medial loss, intermedia, and the role that we ourselves play in the development and consumption of media, and as makers and spectators of artworks that use media. I will investigate these questions through my own artistic work. This work, as befits the research topic, employs a variety of formats including some, such as film and audio-visual installation which I have never used before. As a counterpoint to my portfolio I have chosen to examine a carefully selected set of pieces by other artists, also in a variety of media, that taken as a whole help to outline the artistic and theoretical territory to be studied. The investigations of my own work as well as of these case studies are knitted together with theory drawn from a wide range of sources including psychology, science, art, media and music theory, in addition to ideas gleaned from fiction, in order to form the basis of the written part of my thesis. The text is divided into an introductory chapter, three main chapters and a concluding chapter, and has a quasi-historical trajectory starting with the long-exposure that characterized early photography, moving through the single short sample, to the stringing of these samples together into film and digital audio. The fourth chapter concerns sound film, synchronisation and the FT domain, and explores what happens when we put sound and image together, or try to imagine one through the lens of the other. The concluding chapter deals with recent developments in media technology such as high film frame rates and the domination of the digital world, and examines the problematics associated with these developments.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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