Updated: Apr 16
As I was immersed in a polyphony of languages before learning the phonetic alphabet, sound writing represents for me a vast and borderless field of expression, a universal language free of grammatical rules. Fascinated by the mass media, I made it a leitmotiv during my studies in sociology and communication. I was particularly fascinated by radio and at the time of the first podcasts I dedicated my master's thesis to the transformations of sound media. After a few self-produced radio shows and documentaries, I went back to school to study in Sound Creation and Electroacoustic Composition, then in Computer Systems Developement and Administration and I continue to explore new functions and possibilities of hybrid media.
Attentive to digital evolutions and sensitive to artistic practices that merge in the effervescence of experimentations, I founded the web radio Station Essence. This associative project is for me a fascinating field of observation of digital uses and a place of experimentation of modes of expression that combine art and media.
Fond of new technologies and a supporter of open culture, I am experimenting with modes of transmission to share my vision of the world and to question the profound technological transformations of our society at the dawn of artificial intelligence.
Inspired by the cyberpunk and Glitch-art, I like to divert symbolic objects from the industrial era to associate them with the uses of the digital age; extracting mechanical components to transform them into interactive objects using sensors and robotic programs; transpose the codes of a language inherent to one medium onto another to provoke and observe the new meanings that emerge from this permutation.
I'm currently working on two research-creation projects, both supported by Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine :
130 dreams/h - sound and visual installation selected by ALCA for a Transmedia writing residency at Chalet Mauriac in July 2020 and September 2022.
A broken down petrol pump at first glance, it displays on its screen the swarming noise of a road transiting at 130km/h. By holding the gas pistol to your temple in a suicidal gesture, you can hear the dreamy murmur of the machine's dream. The petrol that is poured into your ears is the sound of a dream, of a journey, of a utopia. The dream of a dream. A sound, visual and interactive installation, a point of escape towards the infinite present.
Panauditorium - immersive sound performance where the auditor is plaed in the center of the stage in a 3D experience of the sounscape animated by invited artists.
Here, you are at the heart of the stage and the performers all around. Here, the scenography is no longer constructed in a hushed studio but on the background of an unpredictable, open-air sound stage. Here, technology is not the submissive intermediary of a narrative - it embodies the narrative itself. A ritual in which your spirit is summoned to the circle where instead of a central fire we turn on a microphone.
Electronic technologies have enabled the emergence of new communication processes, entire industries have been built around the social practices induced by electrical equipment. If we can observe an analogy between the evolution of accessibility, the technical simplification of image processing equipment and the rise of amateur artistic practices, we can then see that sound is following the same diversification of uses thanks to the democratisation of tools for capturing, processing and broadcasting.
However, sound practices are cruelly lacking in consideration in terms of theoretical conceptualisation. Cultural theory is still largely influenced by the visual to the detriment of the sound (Sterne, 2007). While there are many studies and measurements of the impact that technological innovation has on our societies, sound still remains in the background of cultural considerations. In contrast, the field of sound experimentation is much more fertile and radio is one of its pioneering matrices. With digital technology, the rise of immersive devices and sound spatialisation, the medium is transforming at the same pace as the new writing.
A phenomenological issue
If we do not yet have enough hindsight to measure the depth of technological impacts in social transformation, a sensitive approach seems interesting to me to try to represent these changes through art. Digital technology modifies our relationship to time and the senses, but also to art in general, by shaking up the notion of artistic representation.
The question of the multi-sensoriality of sound has been studied by many artists: tactile listening has been questioned by Kay Mortley or Pascale Criton. The sound walks of the artist researcher Christina Kubisch explore movement and itinerary as an element of sound composition thanks to electromagnetic wave sensors. Her performances point out the limits of our senses in the perception of reality and shake up the distribution of roles in the conception of a work. Anna Halprin, in seeking to retranscribe composition through dance, proposes an alternative way of notation through movement that shuns linear modelling.
Like 3D images, immersive technologies and sound spatialisation participate in this race to replace the real with the virtual. Space becomes a powerful sound instrument. This is evidenced by Alvin Lucier's I am sitting in a room (1981) or François Bayle's acousmoniums as an "orchestra of loudspeakers, allows the organisation of acoustic space according to the data of the room, and psychological space according to the data of the work". (F. Bayle, 1974).
Strictly linked to technology, sound art can only manifest itself through it. A high degree of technicality often implies the work of translation between the artist and the machine so that an aesthetic idea can materialise behind a computer programme.
A semiotic issue
Halfway between music and speech there is all that sound matter that music has excluded, calling it parasite. Sound art willingly uses this superfluous material to turn it into a new form of expression and makes noise its first violin.
The synesthetic connections between sight and sound were an important step in the creation of the first written words (V. Ramachandron, 2003). The codification of language made it possible to overcome an anatomical limitation of the vocal cords to communicate about the infinite-sounding environment. If recording technologies are extensions of the voice and hearing (McLuhan, 1964), they allow the reproduction of the environment with much more fidelity than the vocal apparatus. For this reason, this research proposes a particular attention to the synesthetic articulations of sound art.
The use of electrical technologies with their different interfaces and listening situations offers both a rich material for artistic expression and a fertile ground for cross-disciplinary research. It seems to me that it would be interesting to combine aesthetic and scientific research on sound media. In my work I consider the sound art as an intellectual, temporal, spatial and sensory construction which presents it’s own phenomenological and proxemic characteristics (E.T. Hall, The Silent Language, 1959).
Within this approach I question sound art and its paradoxes from the semiotic function and sound enunciation, to see how it can be apprehended as a carrier of meaning. In order to deepen this hypothesis, I will investigate to what extent and in what way sound art corresponds to synesthetic phenomena and in particular its recourse to metaphor. A series of interviews with artists and their audiences might complete my observations of the circulation of meaning within sound works.
In conclusion I will attempt a pragmatic and praxeological prospective of the influence of technological changes in communication on the evolution of human relationships.