A performative investigation of the agency of sound: Mapping the Sound/ Soundscape Portrait

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In this article, I discuss Mapping the Sound/Soundscape Portrait (206, 2018), an audience-participatory, synaesthetic sound/drawing live performance. I perform my synaesthesia: sitting on a large piece of paper, I draw the sounds that I hear as I “see” them with the eyes of my mind, and I move accordingly— if sound is a place (soundscape), what does it look like? Conceiving sound as a performative element with agency, Mapping invites those involved to pay attention to the liveness of the soundscape in which they are immersed and their relationship with it. This work questions the sight-hegemonic and purpose-oriented human experience of place by centralising the presence and presentness of sound as the key-element of narrative-making and knowledge production. The agency of the audience and of sound in the performance de-centralises the artist, who ceases to be the protagonist of the work and becomes a vehicle for its process to unfold. The performance offers a new sensorial perspective on the surrounding environment to those involved, contributing to the scholarship studying the role of live art and embodied practices as tools in investigating the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-118
Number of pages38
JournalAustralasian Drama Studies
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Dramaturgy
  • Performance art
  • Sound
  • Visual art
  • Visual culture
  • Phenomenology
  • Audience engagement
  • Environment and Behaviour

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