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The regime of amplification

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posted on 2023-01-18, 18:08 authored by John Charles Hopkins
Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Media: Screen & Sound Program, School of Communication, Arts and Critical Enquiry, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora.

In this PhD thesis I explore the synergistic interplay between a personal way-of-going and a creative media arts practice. Reflecting my trans-disciplinary background in engineering, science, and the creative arts, I approach the interplay as a 'world-view' sourced in a concept of energy, which I elucidate. This 'world-view' turns away from dominantly materialist assumptions about reality. Applying a technological model of amplification—one that maps a dynamic of energy relations across a wide variety of systems—I connect otherwise divergent principles within the dynamics of embodied presence, of human encounter, and of technological and social development. In this context, I frame and critically examine a model of the techno-social system that we now inhabit what I call "The Regime of Amplification." Several aspects and manifestations of The Regime are explored―the military, radio, glass, and money/code―suggesting consequential ways of engaging in a creative practice within such a system. Throughout the thesis I reflect on creative personal projects and practices that explore the relationship between individual expression and its social context. These include photographic portraiture, on- and off-line performance, archive-as-art, teaching and facilitation, network presence, and dining together. One of my intentions throughout is to suggest ways of sensing the world that may radically transform creative practices. The expansive online creative project "the tech-no-mad (b)log" is also introduced as the creative practice element of the PhD project and is available at []. It accompanies the thesis as a multi-media exploration of the way-of-going with material from my personal and family archive. As a dynamic public platform, the (b)log expands on many of the thesis topics using audio, video, text, and image. The (b)log's format addresses issues of public access, creative sustainability, and duration.


Center or Department

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. School of Communication, Arts and Critical Enquiry. Media: Screen & Sound Program.

Thesis type

  • Ph. D.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded


Rights Statement

The thesis author retains all proprietary rights (such as copyright and patent rights) over the content of this thesis, and has granted La Trobe University permission to reproduce and communicate this version of the thesis. The author has declared that any third party copyright material contained within the thesis made available here is reproduced and communicated with permission. If you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact us with the details.

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