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Towards a radically different understanding of experience: Looking for an heautonomous auditory field in film

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What can be the status of sound in film? Is sound always dependent on image in film? Or is it possible to give sound a more autonomous status? If yes, what are the consequences for the workflow?

In the 1980s and early 1990s two opposing propositions about the relation of the audible and the visible in film were presented. For Michel Chion the auditory field is completely a function of what appears on screen and for Gilles Deleuze the externality of the visual image as uniquely framed has been replaced by the interstice between two framings, the visual and the sound.

Introducing the auditory field as multi-layered, dynamic, experienced and embodied, the author proposes a phenomenological approach of the audio-visual that moves towards a different understanding of the filmic experience, which has its roots in a phenomenology of auditory experience. In the practice-based research project, Surrounded, the author explored together with sound designer and sound mixer Griet Van Reeth, how the creative process of film-making can start from the auditory field, including inner sound and a heautonomy of the auditory field.
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Keywords: Auditory experience; Gaston Bachelard; Michel Chion; audio-visual; auditory field; poetics of space; sound

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University College Ghent.

Publication date: 2010-12-01

More about this publication?
  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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