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PhD defence

Mutable Audible – An Operative Ontology of the Sound Image

  • G. Paiuk
Wednesday 11 October 2023
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. M. Cobussen
  • Prof.dr. J. Kursell (UvA)


Gabriel Paiuk’s project Mutable Audible investigates how that which is heard – the audible – is formed as inherent to material, collective and technical circumstances. The audible is conceived as not exclusively bound to the private realm of the mind or the will of the individual listener, but as dependent on the diverse operations that inform how a sensorial engagement with the sonorous is performed.

To account for the mutable character of the audible, Paiuk postulates a novel concept of sound image built upon the work of the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon. This notion is unhinged from previous uses of the term, namely those that define it as a visual surrogate or a mental representation. Rather, the image is conceived as a node in a cycle of functions that articulate a metastable relationship between sensing agent and milieu. The result of this reconsideration is twofold. On the one hand, the sound image is postulated as a tool to address the audible as a variable locus of engagement with the world. On the other, it unsettles assumptions that keep the image anchored to its traditional visual-centric forms and techniques and drives its transformation to encompass the realm of sound.

Four artistic works constitute the experimental backbone of this dissertation, which explore how the audible is variably produced. In this context, the relational character of sound is reassessed, not anchored in the presumed stability of listening subjects and projected sound identities, but emerging within collective protocols, technical infrastructures and material configurations in which listening unfolds.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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