La Trobe
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From sound to waves to territories

posted on 2023-01-18, 17:39 authored by Jan Hendrik Bruggemeier
This dissertation undertakes a quest for a poetics of responsibility in the age of the Anthropocene. I aim to extend the concept of a poetics of responsibility beyond the literary discussion, within which the term was originally coined by ecocritical theorist Greg Garrad. My thesis achieves this through tracing sound and radio waves from outer space, to the inside of the human body, and along crossspecies boundaries to the deepest depths of the ocean. Reference is made to the theoretical work of Michel de Certeau and media arts practice under the wider label of tactical media. I argue that critical reflections of political media arts practice occurring at the nexus of politics and technology can make an important contribution to the quest for a poetics of responsibility. This argument draws on works that incorporate sonic and radio related practices from the early 20th century radio amateur movement as well as the work of contemporary media arts practitioners including Natalie Jeremijenko, Marko Peljhan and my own. My argument is epistemologically informed by philosopher Jacques Rancière’s theories concerning the political dimension inherent in the aesthetic and vice versa. It also references the work of media theorist Geert Lovink, a key figure in establishing the concept of tactical media. In order to understand the merger of creative practice and theory in tactical media, I employ the notion of fluid thinking in waves -- depicting art making as the tactical pondering over aesthetic experience, technological possibilities and political context. Drawing on my own artistic exploration in a series of works titled unrelated relatedness, I suggest that the combination of technological and sensory perceptions in media arts practice can extend and refine the human sense of situated awareness and shift how we as humans understand our position on this planet.

Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by creative work to the School of Communication, Arts and Critical Enquiry, Faculty of Humanities, La Trobe University, Bundoora.


Center or Department

Faculty of Humanities. School of Communication, Arts and Critical Enquiry.

Thesis type

  • Ph. D.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded


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