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Audiovisual Culture and the Good Sound

A qualitative investigation of the relation between (and the notion of) “the good sound” and “the good experience”.


Sound is some of the most overwhelming and overall interfering in modern life – and at the same time one of the most volatile and transient elements we experience as humans. Each individual can – with mobile media like mp3 players and iPods – be accompanied by her own individual soundtrack and use sound as “score music”, staging everyday experience. Sound cannot be seen, only felt, and so it is fundamentally multi or syn-aesthetic. We all live in an audio visual culture, where multi-sensuous reality, which appeals to all the senses, is being reduced to audio visual culture in an electronic, mediated version. Considering the massive amount of audio visuality today, research into audiovisual culture and the whole field of sound discourse is still in its beginning stages when it comes to the qualitative exploration of aesthetics, reception and theory of knowledge. We are still hesitant and insecure in our knowledge about what an audio visual work of art or phenomenon may influence or do to us, how we experience and act with it, and what kind of knowledge and understanding audio visual and multi-sensuous culture is staging and what it demands from the modern human. Notions about and the relation between “the good sound” and “the good experience” remain to be explored.


The research project will work historically with the genealogy of sound and listening, grounding theoretically with sound and listening as integrated phenomena, and with the connection between sound, listening, hearing and other sensuous and experience modalities. The project will create knowledge and communication about sound and listening and thereby a research foundation for the urgent and continuous tackling and negotiation of the field of tension: sound – culture – sound experience in a general societal perspective. The following sub-projects are part of the collective research project:

Sound in the museum – sound and contemporary art; The reality of Sound – in film; Emergent forms in audiovisual television bank commercials; Sound, lust and delicacy in food commercials and television-programmes; Mobilizing sound in the urban space.

The project group consist in the following members:

Anette Vandsø Aremark

Anders Bonde

Nina Gram

Iben Have

Thomas Bjørnsten Kristensen

Mads Krogh

Birger Langkjær

Charlotte Rørdam Larsen

Ansa Lønstrup (head of the project)

Steen Kaargaard Nielsen

Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen


See their research project descriptions and CV here


The collective research project is financed by Forskningsrådet for Kultur og Kommunikation for the period 01.02.2009 - 31.01.2012.

A conference on the experience of audio-visual art, artefacts, and media texts 

May 26-28, 2011

Call for papers