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Saturday, March 28 • 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Session 3 Panel Stream: Eco-Sensing in Higher Education Curriculum

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Session 3 Panel Stream: Eco-Sensing in Higher Education Curriculum

Andrea Polli, Eric Leonardson, Linda Keane, Leah Barclay, Christopher Preissing, Lindsay French, and Meredith Hoy 
A conversation between an international group of academic practitioners and artists about the design and delivery of interdisciplinary curriculum in the arts, engineering and architecture that engages university students with listening and other forms of environmental sensing to promote creative ways to address ecological problems. Panelists will present examples and experiences using listening, field recording, sensors, data gathering, and other ways of sensing ecosystems. 

The single glance cannot sufficiently capture the fact that the environment is a complex ecological system formed by the intersection of both visible and invisible phenomena. Ubiquitous computing and data collection can provide a variety of non visual cross-sections through which a more complicated understanding of the environment can be experienced. When does the collection of a quantity of data becoming meaningful or useful for scientific and/or creative purposes? 

Sound provides a sensory framework that imparts depth and texture to the listener’s surroundings. It does not simply enrich the visual experience of landscape, according primacy to vision, but actively shapes the interaction between listener and environment. Sound collection, and its related data collection, complicate any single experience of environment as complete, and the observation of sound, as it is based in time, cannot exist without memory. Events are accumulated over time, and it is this accumulation that affects our observation, and perception of the environment. 

In digital art practice, the 1970s brought about an interest in the relationship between sound and space, and particularly, the use of sound as an augmentation of the primacy of visual representation. Sound was identified as a new form of location-based practice that could enrich the phenomenological experience of space and landscape. 

While visual maps create an instantaneous impression, sound maps create a richly textured, durational experience that refuses to foreclose the space in question. Sound maps are exploratory and open-ended, providing, as Schafer argues, only offered details, rather than a totalized view. As opposed to the tradition of landscape painting, which situates the viewer in a frontal relationship to a carefully enframed array of visual information, sound art affirms the materiality of the invisible world. It shows an environment to be a multi-layered, multi-sensory, and dynamic interplay of forces that cannot be encapsulated and circumscribed by the frame. 

Since the 1970s, the advancement of sound art has been heavily concerned with the material density of the sonic environment. Eco-sensing projects gather data and translate it into a sonic fabric that communicates informational content in alternative ways to traditional visualization practices. The phenomenological thickness of sonic presentation reveals the ways in which ecological data need not be merely visual to be interpreted and absorbed by the human sensorium. The complexity of sound mirrors the complexity of ecosystems and environment, demonstrating how environmental knowledge and understanding can develop through practices of sonifying data. 


Kate Galloway

Kate Galloway is a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Galloway works in the field of ecomusicology with interests in musics of the 20th/21st centuries, technology, and alternative... Read More →

avatar for Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Griffith University
Co-Chair, Sonic Environments (www.sonicenvironments.org)

Lindsay French

Lindsey French is a Chicago-based artist and educator. Engaging in gestures of communication with landscapes and the nonhuman, her work spans a variety of media, including video, performance, audio sculpture, and generative literature. French has exhibited and presented work at the... Read More →

Linda Keane

Linda Keane, AIA, is an environmental designer, architect and academic, passionately active in greening public imagination. She combines architectural practice with animation, publications and workshops collaborating with diverse practices on envisioning projects that transform sustainable... Read More →

Eric Leonardson

Eric Leonardson is a Chicago-based audio artist, co-founder and Executive Director of the World Listening Project, founder and co-chair of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, and President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. Leonardson is Adjunct Associate Professor at... Read More →

Andrea Polli

Andrea Polli is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Ecology with appointments in the College of Fine Arts and School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico.  She holds the Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media and directs the Social Media Workgroup, a lab at... Read More →

Christopher Preissing

Composer, improviser, and collaborator, Christopher Preissing earned DMA and MM degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana where he studied with Herbert Brün, Salvatore Martirano, and William Brooks. Composer-in-residence at Beloit College, Guest Composer at The Latin American... Read More →


Meredith Hoy

Meredith Hoy is Assistant Professor of Art History and Theory in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2010 in the department of Rhetoric. Her current book project, entitled... Read More →

Saturday March 28, 2015 3:30pm - 5:00pm MST
Stauffer B125 950 S. Forest Mall Tempe, AZ 85281

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