Drone Technologies and Dis/embodied Spaces: A practice-based enquiry into human-drone relationships through audiovisual art installation.

Slater, Tom (2021) Drone Technologies and Dis/embodied Spaces: A practice-based enquiry into human-drone relationships through audiovisual art installation. Doctoral thesis, Falmouth University / University of the Arts London.

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Abstract / Summary

This research asks: What new insights can immersive audiovisual art installation offer
into the embodied and disembodied spaces that result from the human operation of
military drones?
To address this question, I have analysed how technologically mediated space is
interlaced with our perceptual capacities and expressed through immersive audiovisual
artworks. Practical research was undertaken through a process of creative production
realised via three major immersive audiovisual artworks entitled Hybrid Spaces,
Compound Terrains and Conjured Spaces. Each artwork functions as a cultural
apparatus that affords new apprehensions of the perceived boundary between digital
and physical space, reality and virtuality, embodiment and disembodiment. In these
artworks, video projection, laser control and ambisonic audio are employed to both
produce and problematise the so-called ‘virtual’ and ‘disembodied’ spaces that exist
inside the screen and between the loudspeakers. In the spectatorship of these works,
technologically mediated, spatio-corporeal interactions are formed through the cultural
practices of immersive audiovisual media.
The neologism dis/embodied space is used throughout this thesis as a working concept
that serves to extend the perceptual frameworks of post-phenomenological thought,
specifically Don Ihde’s schema of human-technology relations and his concept of
multistability. Specific theoretical and contextual analysis was conducted by focusing on
the distinct but overlapping human-technology relations in technologies that egress
from the relationships between Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) and their
human operators. By placing drone technologies along a continuum of humantechnology relations, this examination provides a necessary cultural context to the
abstract concepts of multistability and dis/embodied space as they form the basis of
expression for Hybrid Spaces, Compound Terrains and Conjured Spaces. The central
assertion of this thesis is that an individual’s sense of disembodiment and embodiment
do not coexist; rather, they toggle in and out of existence in the course of human
relationships with specific technologies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Music
Courses by Department: Academy of Music & Theatre Arts > Music
Depositing User: Ailsa Poll
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2024 11:36
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 11:36
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/5359

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