Thesis (Ph.D)

On the Simultaneous Perception of Sound and Three-Dimensional Objects


Although examples of work investigating the perceptual relationship and possibilities of sound and image are common, relatively litle work has been carried out into multimedia works combining sound and three-dimensional objects. A practice-based investigation into this subject is presented with original artworks and contectual material from sound art, sculpture, moving image and psychology. The project sets out to more examine the perception of multimedia work, specifically through the creation and analysis of artworks combining sound and physical objects. It considers three main areas of study: sound’s ability to draw attention to, or modify, the existing properties of an object; techniques which encourage sound and object to appear cohesively as part of the same work; and a discussion of cognitive effects that may occur as a result of their simulataneous perception. Using the concept of the search space from evolutionary computing as an example, the case is made that multimedia artworksde can present a larger field of creative opportunity than single-media works, due to the enhanced interplay between the two media and the viewer's a priori knowledge. The roles of balance, dynamism and interactivity in multimedia work are also explored. Throughout the thesis examples of original artworks are given which exemplify the issues raised. The main outcome of the study is a proposed framework for categorising and analysing the perception of multimedia artworks, based on increasing semantic separation between the sensory elements. It is claimed that as the relationship between these elements becomes less obvious, more work is demanded of the viewer's imagination in trying to reconcile the gap, leading to active engagement and the possibility of extra imaginary forms which do not exist in the original material. It is proposed that the framework and ideas in this document will be applicable beyond the sound/object focus of this study, and it is hoped they will inform research into multimedia work in other forms.

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Blow, M P

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Arts
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment


Year: 2014

© Blow, M P
Published by Oxford Brookes University
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