Sound and Video Installation: Existence as a state of Immanence

PHD Thesis by Dr. Bruce Mowson

Dr. Bruce Mowson is a Melbourne based sound and video artist who has completed a Ph.D in Media Art at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, creating installations to research the phenomenon of absorption in audio-visual media.

The PDF file contains the entire 25,000 word exegesis, with colour images.

This project aims to produce new material and understandings about audio/visual installation art and immanence. Immanence describes a subjective state that emphasises an embodied sense in time and space. It is explored in the project artworks by using materials and techniques that heighten one’s sense of being a receptor – of seeing and hearing, rather than being an identity formed in language. The research works through the derivation of my notion of immanence from my environmental listening experiences. I have used artistic and philosophical material to aid and extend these concepts in relation to their investigation through the practical works.

The research is conducted using non-linear audio/visual technologies to create installation art works that elude narrative sequencing through generative techniques. Typically this involves a computer generated image and sound, projected into space in ways that seek to heighten the audience’s sense of embodiment. These works are non-repetitive, and close attention to the materials reveals a structure of non-hierarchical variation, and of continual change. Philosophically, this emphasises immanent notions of the self as being in a state of becoming – of being simultaneously complete in the present moment yet continually in change.

The research explores and reveals a number of outcomes and shifts of position. At a technical level, a number of ways of combining generative sound and image are explored, and methods for creating variation within a continuum are implemented. A number of presentations of the works are made in installation spaces, and these document the tension between the framed format of video and the immersive and surrounding embodiment which is activated in installation practice.


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