Knots & Donuts

Henriques, Julian F.. 2011. Knots & Donuts. In: "Embodying Transformation", Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom, 19 - 20 November 2011. [Performance]

Item Type:

Creators: Henriques, Julian F.
Abstract or Description:

Knots & Donuts sound sculpture performance at Tate Modern, part of the Topology series (19-20.11.11), was a 7-performance ticketed event. It was also installed at Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi, 22-29.03.2013 and at Rutgers, Caribbean Sounds conference, 26.04.2013, and discussed in J. Henriques, “Hearing Things and Dancing Numbers” Theory, Culture & Society, 29 (4/5) 334 -342 (2012).

The research aim of the sculpture is to provide qualitative evidence, in the form of listeners’ questions and written comments, on how auditory shapes and images are recognized in the “mind’s ear.” This is a practical way of testing some of the ideas and research findings on the Jamaican reggae dancehall music scene, reported in Sonic Bodies. Both book and sculpture are concerned with embodied, and often tacit, ways of knowing, such as techné and phronēsis, as distinct from formal epistemologies. Ways of knowing derived from auditory – rather than visual – sensation provide particularly useful examples of this kind of haptic understanding, as audition often escapes representation. Thus the research methodology calls for an exploration of acoustic space, as distinct from its visual counterpart, to explore how far geometry might be understood through the enminded body, rather than the more traditional mathematical or disembodied mind.

The sound sculpture is performed within a 360-degree 3D auditory field produced by 12 channels of high quality sound, whose output is configured to fill the space of the room. Within this sound field, using state-of-the-art software, it is possible to specify the position of up to 16 sound sources and control their travel anywhere in this space (as well as their conventional parameters of pitch, volume and timbre). Thus shapes can be “drawn” in sound (like a sparkler firework draws in light) by travelling the sound source in the 3D space in which the listener is immersed. The geometrical shapes of the sculpture included circles in various orientations forming the topological figures of the Borromean Knot and the Torus (Donut). The sculpture sensitized listeners to sound as a creative medium.

Official URL:
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Topology Research Unit
Research Office > REF2014
Date range: 19 - 20 November 2011
Event Location: Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom
Item ID: 9227
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2013 12:28
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 10:20


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