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Dr. Pierre Jolivet


University College Dublin




Sound Art, Sensorial Perception, Biofeedback, Sensor

Thesis Title

Sound Art & Sensorial Perception: A Practice-based Study


This practice-based PhD set out to design and apply novel multi-channel and non-intrusive electroencephalographic wave analysers, along with environmental sensors, to provide extensive compositional biofeedback in gallery and non-gallery settings as well as public spaces where Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and/or Mixed Reality technologies may also possibly be in use. There is a current gap in knowledge about the nature and behaviours of auditory processes and interactions in both sound art performances, and in-built environment situations (whether in the art gallery or any other type of space); some research has been conducted but this unique combination of concerns has not to date been investigated in both practice and theory in the manner undertaken in this thesis. The methodology of the research is practice-based experimentation to contrive and assess sound art, in situ, ranging from small venues to outdoor public spaces. The intention is to better characterise sensory feedback established from a practice-based research to a comprehensive explorative framework. The intended result -as achieved in this PhD- is to spatially map a multitude of possible correlations and interactions to create responsive immersive conditions. The intended outcome -also achieved- is to develop a new method for compositional design and perceptual analysis of relevance and applicability to a variety of spaces. The compositional aspect of this novel research project has built upon Sound Art and Sensorial practice, woven in and informed this practice with theory and critical frameworks to help future practitioners and scholars to engage with the work and take it further in their own ways, for their own purposes. The thesis as a whole delivers a written dissertation that builds upon and shares new knowledge gained from the practice-based study, and offers a new and novel set of techniques that future audio-visual artists and designers alike may choose to apply, in order to induce a sensorial dimension in their own works, whereas future scholars may build upon the methodology and the examples provided as a starting point for future Sound Art Practice research. The Sound Art practice is itself submitted as an integral part of the thesis and should be listened to in conjunction with reading of the materials. Overall, the perceptual findings inform a research methodology and educational foundation underpinning a new basis for research and development in the fields of Sound Art, Acoustics and Architecture.



Pierre Jolivet (born Paris, France 1964) is an artist who's currently based in Dublin. Pierre started in the early eighties to perform as a French pioneer under the moniker of Pacific 231, in the Industrial and Power Electronics musical fields before moving into more Ambient and Abstract Electronic sounds. His works now explores the very limit of sound and space, especially through his past and present multimedia performances and installations: Stif(f)le, Im’shi and Espace Altéré presented in numerous countries as well as his recent audiovisual production: Micromega. His discography now exceed twenty albums with more than eight collaborations.

In 2010, he became part of the Luigi Russolo jury, a prestigious international award in Acousmatic music created in 1979 by Gian Franco Maffina and Rossana Maggia with the original participation of François Bayle and Pierre Schaeffer. He graduated from an MFA in the Digital World with First Class Honours at the National College of Art and Design where he gives occasionally workshops in Art and Technology and he's currently an occasional lecturer in Art and Media at the Institute of Technology Tallaght. Late 2015, he was able to develop further the transdisciplinary aspect of his practice working with artists from horizons as diverse as dance, theatre and writing at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in the framework of the SPACE Programme from the Performance Corporation.

Mid-2016, he was invited to deliver a seminar and a multi-sensory performance, Mémétique Élucubrations, at the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras in Mexico. Soon after, he won an IRC award and started a PhD in Sonic Art and Sensorial Perception. As a researcher, he’s investigating the possible connections between sound, sensors and immersive environments. 2017 as his first doctoral year, seen the invitation to two conferences, VSMM 2017 at University College Dublin and Sounding Out the Space at the Dublin Institute of Technology as well as a research-based performance at MART (Dublin). Before finishing his PhD in 2021, he published a collaborative paper with the Spatial Sound Institute (Budapest).

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