Janna Holmstedt

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Book: Are You Ready for a Wet Live-In? Explorations into Listening

This doctoral thesis in fine arts consists of six artworks and an essay that documents the research process, or rather, acts as a travelogue as it stages and narrates a series of journeys into a predominantly sonic ecology.
E-book published Oct 6, 2017.


The book can be downloaded at Lund University's research portal Lucris.

Listen. If I ask you to listen, what is it that I ask of you – that you will understand, or perhaps obey? Or is it some sort of readiness that is requested? What occurs with a body in the act of listening? How do sound and voice structure audio-visual-spatial relations in concrete situations?

This artistic doctoral project inhabits the border between contemporary art and performing arts, voice and vision, the animal and the human. At the heart of the inquiry is a series of artworks that use voice, sound, environments, and instructions (read more about the research project here).

Since the doctoral work is presented as an e-book (available as both an ePub and an interactive PDF, see link above) it is possible to listen to sound and see films while reading. A printer friendly PDF is also available, which is a reduced version where parts of the composition are omitted.

The main part of the essay is structured as three journeys that are thematically rather than chronologically ordered. These journeys are referred to as acts of “going visiting,” a term borrowed from Hannah Arendt. To go visiting is an attempt to keep several perspectives open at the same time rather than to search for universal overviews.

On the meandering journeys you will find me in the company of sea mammals, poets, composers, philosophers, and media historians, among others. The cross-reading of art, film, theater, neurology, cetology, philosophy, and poetry, offers contextualizations and shows how similar issues have been explored and understood in different fields at different times and places. Drifting in and out of focus is the sonorous body, a sonic sensibility, and what it might mean to exist according to listening.

Keywords: artistic research, listening, situated practices, sound in art, expanded art, expanded scenography, media ecology, acousmatic orality, a/orality, storytelling, interspecies communication, more-than-human relations, co-habitation, sensorial estrangement, posthumanism, parasites, play, technology, dolphins, sonic sensibility, transliteracy, voice, performativity, new materialism, Michel Serres, Karen Barad, Michel Chion, John C. Lilly, oceans, wet live-in.

Graphic design: Johan Ahlbäck
English translation: Amelia Bryne and Janna Holmstedt
Proofreading: Amelia Bryne
ISBN: 978-91-7753-404-4 (ePub, e-book with sound and film)
ISBN: 978-91-7753-405-1 (PDF, e-book with sound and film)
ISBN: 978-91-7753-406-8 (PDF, for print)
Dissertations from Academy of Fine Arts at Umeå University – 2
Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University: Doctoral Studies and Research in Fine and Performing Arts, 16. ISSN: 1653-8617

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