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Lowercase Strategies in Public Sound Art: celebrating the transient audience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2013

Peter Batchelor*
Peter Batchelor, Music, Technology and Innovation, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK


Public art invariably involves the drawing of individuals into the roles of audience and participant by virtue of it being in the public domain – in public places where those individuals are getting on with their everyday lives. As such, a large proportion of the ‘audience’ is an unwitting one, subjected to the art rather than subscribing to it. This is equally true of public sound art, where response to an intervention may vary from engagement to non-engagement to indifference to unawareness, along with a variety of transitional states between. This essay seeks to investigate this ambiguous territory in public sound art, proposing it both as an area rich in possibility for creative exploration and as a means by which artists may reveal and encourage sensitivity to the existing characteristics of a site (thus accommodating the pursuit of agendas relating to acoustic ecology). In particular it investigates and presents a case for the use of lowercase strategies in sound art as ways in which the public might be invited into a dialogue with works (invitation rather than imposition) and thus empowered as partakers of public sound art.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

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