Christopher Salter Talk - Auditory-visual-perceptual spaces

Another talk of SonicActs 2010 by Christopher Salter, researcher of threshold auditory-visual-perceptual spaces. ‎'Perhaps then artists, facilitating audiovisual cross-modality through the intertwining of media, environment and perceiver, seek similarly to enstill or render such momentary lapses and quickenings, creating breaks or micro-hallucinations of self by way of techniques that consciously challenge our perception.'

Vimeo Video of Talk

From Vimeo Website


“Sonic Acts is a biannual festival at the intersection of arts, science, music & technology.

In 1968, an unrealized proposal developed in 1968 by visual artists James Turrell and Robert Irwin for curator Maurice Tuchman’s ambitious series of artist/corporate pairings under the auspices of the Art and Technology Program of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which ran from 1967-1971, aimed to explore the transformation of consciousness under the extreme reduction of sensory input. Turrell and Irwin attempted to build a combination between two spaces: an anechoic chamber, a room that absorbs all reflection such that no sound ever leaves its point of origin and a ganzfeld, a visual field without depth or size or what Brian Massumi labeled ‘chaos in the total field of vision.’ In the ganzfeld, Massumi writes that ‘although subjects had difficulty putting what they had failed to experience in properly visual terms, they were relentlessly prodded to do so by experimenters.’ Most described an unfocusable ‘cloud’ or ‘fog’ of no determinate shape or measurable distance from the eyes. Some just saw ‘something,’ others just ‘nothing.’ One acute observer saw ‘levels of nothingness.’

My current artistic and theoretical research explores such threshold auditory-visual-perceptual spaces and how such spaces dynamically alter concepts of body and self. I am interested in where our perceiving consciousness loosely defined as a sensory ‘self’ is situated in these processes of immersion, embodiment, dissolution and reconstitution that arise from our encounters with cross modal perception. This talk will thus examine the repercussions of Turrell’s and Irwin’s proposal to investigate the thresholds of perception in an experiential environment. Specifically, I will focus on the conception of the self and body in both contemporary artistic practices with media coupled with recent concepts arising from enactive cognition. What role does spatiality play in these synchretic perceptions? What happens to the ‘sensing self’ and its embodiment in audio-visual environments that overload or reduce our perception and how does this self expand or dissolve through such encounters?
— Source: '

Christopher L. Salter’s (CA) artistic output and research revolve around the development and production of real-time, computationally-augmented responsive performance environments fusing space, sound, image, architectural material and sensor-based technologies.

This lecture was part of Sonic Acts XIII within a session called Exercises in Immersion. This session was about the following: surround cinema with spatial sound immerses the audience in a spectacle of sound and images. How is this done? What happens to the senses?'