Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
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Spatializing Embodiment: Interactivity and Subjectivity in Multi-diffusion Sound Installation and Performance

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Research Questions

  • How can interactive, spatialized sound installation and performance serve as a site for theoretical inquiry into embodied experience, gendered subjectivity and psychoanalytic feminism?
  • How are psychoacoustic phenomena manifested in this context?
  • What new bodies of work can be created with this knowledge?


Parkins’ research will focus on an ongoing series of compositional investigations, moving between a dedicated fixed-media workspace and sound production studios where she will work with acousticians, programmers, and engineers. Her aim is to develop new gestural approaches for applying interactive electronics within sound installations and performances, and new diffusion systems relevant to gestural/physical engagement in acoustical space.

Parkins’ foundational research will include studying methods and applications for the investigation of psychoacoustics and spatialization employed in sound installations by artists such as Maryanne Amacher, along with a study of the interaction between physical gesture and algorithmically-based technology tools in real-time composition by artists including George E. Lewis. Concurrently, Parkins will examine Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytically-based concept of abjection, grounding her artistic work in theoretical inquiry that focuses on gendered subjectivity and embodiment.

Supplementary studies will address psychoacoustics, aural architecture, and spatialization theory and technologies.

Results and reflections

Ongoing results and reflections on the merging of Parkins’ artistic and theoretical research will be presented at seminars, in discussion with colleagues and students at Norwegian Academy of Music and at international conferences and exhibition/performance venues. The outcome of the project will be twofold: a body of multi-diffusion spatialized sound installations and performances, employing an embodied, interactive approach to addressing themes in psychoanalytic feminist thought; and an anthology of reflective writings that communicates the complexity and mutli-layeredness of this project’s inquiry.

Completion of this project will offer new perspectives on the creation of multi-channel composition, engaging with spatial acoustics, gesture and embodiment, and psychoacoustic phenomena. It will result in new knowledge production within the field of artistic research, and transmission of interdisciplinary knowledge to practitioners of electroacoustic music.

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