Nicole L'Huillier Dissertation Defense


Shifting away from conventional notions of sound and music, this dissertation will explore alternative logics and modes of socialization through improvisatory encounters, organized around an installation called Membranas. This project is an infrastructure that stimulates call and response exchanges between humans, the wind, vibrations in the air, and a machine. Several interactive sculptural elements also enter into the dialogue and give shape to the system. They activate an experience using vibrational and sonic organs contained in the installation, a set of membrane sensors in the form of flags that perceive sounds and vibrational activity, and a vibrational membrane microphone based on a soft accelerometer elastic sensor to be used outdoors. Membranas is a performative interface that establishes a continuous testbed for exploring resonance as an inclusive force that stimulates collectivity and the sense of interconnectivity among participants. This project emerges as a way of putting into practice ideas within La Membrana, an organizational conceptual apparatus that stimulates vibrational ways of speculating about how to rearrange the social.

Committee members:
Tod Machover
Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Caroline A. Jones
Professor of Art History, History, Theory, and Criticism Section, Architecture Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Camila Marambio
Curator, Founding Director of Ensayos, a nomadic research program in Tierra del Fuego, Ph.D. MONASH University, Curatorial Practice MADA, 2019

Marc Downie
Artist and co-founder of the OpenEnded Group, Ph.D. MIT Media Arts and Sciences, 2005

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