Transtechnology Research Seminar Series 2023-24

Our monthly research sessions run over two days in hybrid mode.

Day 1 Seminar runs from 1pm-3pm. This is an in person session unless you are based overseas or more than a hour’s travel from Plymouth. We will meet for lunch at 12 noon. The series will consist of an introductory seminar followed by seven seminar sessions. Each session will be a collaboration between one registered researcher and one contributing researcher with two 20-30 minute papers.

Day 2 Update sessions from 10am-1pm. This session will be online in our Zoom Meeting Room.

The group is also invited to host up to 6 workshop sessions, as explorations of method/practice through working with the group. Dates TBC.

Transtechnology Research Seminar Series: 2023-2024

Series Note: With an Ear to the Ground: Thinking with Sound and Intellectual History.

We thought that the new book by Victoria Tkaczyk (pronounced:  Tecar-jit) might be a valuable common text for the seminar series 2023/24 (Tkaczyk, V. 2023.Thinking with Sound: A New Program in the Sciences and Humanities around 1900, The University of Chicago Press.) Following on from Myra Seaman’s book, Objects of Affection: The Book and the Household in Late Medieval England that was the key for last years’ series, Thinking with Sound is also a careful piece of archival research that gains its interdisciplinary value in the contribution that it makes in its methodology and rhetorical strategy. By using this as the key reference text this year it continues our enquiry in Transtechnology Research, begun nearly two decades ago, into situating multimodal research at the art/science/technology interface as a primarily a contribution to intellectual history. Tkacyzk provides us with a valuable example of how close attention to bibliographic and practical evidence can be used to tell us what is going on and what might be coming our way. It provides a method to critically examine disciplinary relationships and established bodies of knowledge so that they can be reorganised to yield insights that stimulate new topics and concerns in long- established silos of research practice. In recent years, as many of you will know, the practical application of our research in Transtechnology Research has had impact, for example, in rethinking what are considered normative social structures and health care training and delivery (to name but two). Thinking with Sound mirrors this dynamic in the way that its emphasis on research in 1900 on an experiential and bodily sensation that can tell us how we might alternatively organise knowledge today.

Thinking with Sound is well written and accessible and contains some elegant synthesis of key ideas that many of us find useful in describing our own research practices. It organises its argument in introduction and conclusion and 5 chapters, each of which is divided into several helpfully subtitled short sections comprising two or three pages.  Many of these sections refer to advanced research already being undertaken by colleagues in Transtechnology Research. Aside from the relevance of the content that Tkaczyk lays out, this structure will help us use the book for the seminar series by allowing presenters to identify a short section relevant to their own research that we can acquaint ourselves with in advance of the meeting.

Below is a link to  a review of Thinking with Sound, a table of contents and the introduction to the book.

Series Format:

For each session two extracts from Viktoria Tkaczyk’s (2023) Thinking with Sound: A New Program in the Sciences and Humanities around 1900 will be identified by the presenters as a key text. This, and the abstracts for the seminars should be identified and sent to Hannah the morning of the Wednesday before the seminar to be sent out to the group via email.

Presenters are invited to meet together in advance, including discussions with Michael and Hannah in preparation. Each session will have an invited postdoctoral respondent who will lead the first part of the discussion. Michael Punt or Hannah Drayson will chair the seminar (introductions and time keeping) and manage the Q&A.

Proposed Programme Dates:

20th and 21st September 2023.
Plan for the year, draft abstract session, and project introductions.

18th and 19th October.
Introductory Seminar.
Professor dr. Michael Punt: With an ear to the ground: Thinking with Sound.
Dr Hannah Drayson: A Rave in Cyberspace: Kick drums and the anatomy of memory.

Joint seminars and update sessions:

15th and 16th November.
Respondent: Dr Eugenia Stamboliev.
Linan Zhang: When the Dr asks you ‘where does it hurt’? Linguistics and metaphysics.
Johara Bellali: Membrane logic, Ambiguity and Becoming-milieu.

13th and 14th December.
Dr Jane Hutchinson: Respondent.
Karen Squire: Rock cannons, representation of perceptual phenomena- issues around archaeology and phenomenology. Helston beating the bounds. Affect received as white noise, Landscape affect received as hummadruz 

Lucinda Guy: Auditory Apophenia and Hidden Harmony. Community radio in the UK consists of 100s of independent, non-profit radio stations on FM, AM and DAB, awarded a licence for a specific area such as a town, or community within a city, on the basis of providing ‘social gain’ through training, locally relevant content, accountability etc. However, many have adopted the models, practices, styles and technologies of commercial radio, and have a tendency to be nostalgic for the independent commercial radio stations of the 1970s-90s. My research suggests a way forward that connects Community Radio with values such as inclusion, localness, and creativity, by drawing on practices from sonic arts and experimental music. This seminar looks at some examples of these practices, where they are crossing over into radio broadcasting, and their effects on makers and audiences. In particular, methods composers and artists use to tune in to found sound and uncover meaning and pattern. This practice can be associated with ‘apophenia’ the tendency to identify meaning from visual and audial cues, such as seeing faces in trees.. Apophenic experiences are often disparaged as false, misguided and paranoid. But an understanding of the relationships between music, sound and noise, and physical phenomena such as the harmonic series, reveals this interpretation to be insufficient, and redefines apophenia as a meeting point between imagination and material reality, which reveals truths about the context in which it occurs. The seminar proposes a more generous interpretation of apophenia, and the value of these experiences in the creation of music and sound works, and informs how radio producers can move towards a ‘radio that listens’ (Hildegaard Westerkamp) and responds to its location.

10th and 11th January 2024.
Dr Edith Doove : Respondent
Dr Anna Walker: 
An Auditory Exploration of Charcot’s Theatre of Hysteria.
Zinnia Wang: Thinking with Dance: Hybrid curating and digitalisation.

7th and 8th February.
Dr Stephanie Moran: Respondent
Sarah Turton: Reverse chromesthesia – feeling sound in spiritual art.
Becalelis Brodskis: The letterbox. The transcript of the audio recording as record for mapping and the event. 

6th and 7th March.
Dr Rita Cachao: Respondent
Laura Welsman: Felt Objects and Sound Images – A Pitiful/Pitiless Art
Theo Humpries:

10th and 11th April.
Dr Agatha Haines: Respondent
James Sweeting: Haunted remakes – the difference between Japanese and Western videogame remakes as informed by heritage practices. From Ise Shinto Shrines to Matcha Green Tea Kit-Kats and Videogame Remakes: How Japan remixes the past. Discussions around authenticity and what is “real” can inform how contemporary versions of the past can be understood. This talk aims to investigate elements of culture which could be impacting upon how contemporary versions or reinterpretations of the past are approached. This talk will apply the concept of Hauntological Form to unpack how the past can be considered as a resource and how this could be further influenced depending on different regional cultures.

Nadezhda Krasteva: Digital festival realm and phygital audience experience.

8th and 9th May.
Dr Guy Edmonds: Respondent
Carola Salvadori: Heterotopia at the intersection between disciplines.
Steven Doughty: Flicker, trance, and ASCs.

5th and 6th June.
Dr Jaqui Knight: Respondent
Nick Peres: Simulation
Frieda Gerhardt: Neurodiversity – Different Types of Perception and Sensory Sensitivity

Business Meeting for 2024-5 Planning. [Date TBC]