Pique your ears

Today I've been thinking about projects, some realistic and immediately do-able, others that are more blue-sky; [tangent] I thought everybody understood what, blue-sky thinking meant, apparently not, I find myself explaining what I mean when I say something like, "lets blue-sky some ideas." Maybe it's tech sector vernacular.

Anyway, I've been thinking a bit about my artwork, in some ways I know fully what I'm up to (visually), in other ways I know what I don't know (story r&d), which is why I'm doing this damn grad school thing. But there's this component to my work I get really into that I think gets washed over because so many people interact with my work with their computers (sound). Many of my films should be experienced in a built environment or theater to feel the sound with your body, as I designed it. Hearing my work in headphones or with computer speakers doesn't do my work any justice.

I want to know more about what sound design does to your body when you're in the presence of a purpose built system. In Charlie Foxtrot I change your breathing and heart rate to make you uncomfortable and anxious. In Timelapse Chr0nodex I lead you along with a hypnotic induction, but my voice is just the top layer of the sound, there is SO MUCH MORE living beneath that top later!

I'm interested in how our bodies respond to vibrations produced by these compositions. We "hear" with some much more than our ears, I mean, we know this from the gut liquifying vibrations of really big sound systems at concerts, raves or your neighboring theme-camp. Research has been and/or is being done on sound weapons, and there's the sound fire extinguisher. I know I don't know enough about what I'm doing with sound, and I'm ready to deep dive into some shit I don't know to find out. I know the words "psychoacoustics" and "neuoaesthetics" are involved, these are super sexy words.

I've been researching PhD programs, looking for scholars and programs in the US which address the world of installation, performance experimental film and it seems like for the most part one must give up their practice to be a scholar. I do not want to do that. There are very few programs which have a balance of studio practice as well as scholarly research. One of the programs is super interesting, I've asked to visit the program and am actively considering applying, which brings me to the blue-sky business. The program asks applicants to blue-sky a proposal to gauge the maturity of thought of the applicant. So I've been thinking about all of the projects I haven't had the knowledge or money to produce to any level of sophistication. I've got time to ponder.

It has been fun to think about all of the immersive, interactive installation situations I've cooked up over the years. I think my home town proximity to visionary new media artists has influenced my thinking somewhat. I didn't rub up on anything like the work coming out of my friends in Seattle while in Portland, or here in Durham. I know some really fucking smart people, it's awesome. I'm really looking forward to a sojourn home soon where I'll hobnob with some bright people, and hopefully get my daydreaming juiced.


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