Landscapes of the invisible: sounds, cosmologies and poetics of space

Piva, A. 2015. Landscapes of the invisible: sounds, cosmologies and poetics of space. PhD thesis University of Westminster Faculty of Media, Arts and Design

TitleLandscapes of the invisible: sounds, cosmologies and poetics of space
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsPiva, A.

In this PhD by Publication I revisit and contextualize art works and essays I have collaboratively created under the name Flow Motion between 2004-13, in order to generate new insights on the contributions they have made to diverse and emerging fields of contemporary arts practice/research, including digital, virtual, sonic and interdisciplinary art.

The works discussed comprise the digital multimedia installation and sound art performance Astro Black Morphologies/Astro Dub Morphologies (2004-5), the sound
installation and performance Invisible (2006-7), the web art archive and performance presentation project promised lands (2008-10), and two related texts, Astro Black Morphologies: Music and Science Lovers (2004) and Music and Migration (2013).

I show how these works map new thematic constellations around questions of space and diaspora, music and cosmology, invisibility and spectrality, the body and perception. I also show how the works generate new connections between and across contemporary avant-garde, experimental and popular music, and visual art and cinema traditions.

I describe the methodological design, approaches and processes through which the works were produced, with an emphasis on transversality, deconstruction and contemporary black music forms as key tools in my collaborative artistic and textual practice. I discuss how, through the development of methods of data translation and transformation, and distinctive visual approaches for the re-elaboration of archival material, the works produced multiple readings of scientific narratives, digital X-ray data derived from astronomical research on black holes and dark energy, and musical, photographic and textual material related to historical and contemporary accounts of migration.

I also elaborate on the relation between difference and repetition, the concepts of multiplicity and translation, and the processes of collective creation which characterize my/Flow Motion’s work. The art works and essays I engage with in this commentary produce an idea of contemporary art as the result of a fluid, open and mutating assemblage of diverse and hybrid methods and mediums, and as an embodiment of a cross-cultural, transversal and transdisciplinary knowledge shaped by research, process, creative dialogues, collaborative practice and collective signature.


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