This PhD by publication examines selected practice-based audio-visual works made by the author over a ten-year period, placing them in a critical context. Central to the publications, and the focus of the thesis, is an exploration of the role of sound in the creation of dialectic tension between the audio, the visual and the audience. By first analysing a number of texts (films/videos and key writings) the thesis locates the principal issues and debates around the use of audio in artists’ moving image practice. From this it is argued that asynchronism, first advocated in 1929 by Pudovkin as a response to the
advent of synchronised sound, can be used to articulate audio-visual relationships. Central to asynchronism’s application in this paper is a recognition of the propensity for sound and image to adhere, and in visual music for there to be a literal equation of audio with the visual, often married with a quest for the synaesthetic. These elements can either be used in an
illusionist fashion, or employed as part of an anti-illusionist strategy for realising dialectic. Using this as a theoretical basis, the paper examines how the publications implement asynchronism, including digital mapping to facilitate innovative reciprocal sound and image combinations, and the asynchronous use of ‘found sound’ from a range of online sources to reframe the moving image. The synthesis of publications and practice demonstrates that asynchronism can both underpin the creation of dialectic, and be an integral component in an audio-visual anti-illusionist methodology.