Bio

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I am a film and media scholar/practitioner working at the intersections of soundscape studies, eco-media criticism, and critical geography, and am currently appointed as Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto. My work is dedicated to exploring the relationship between media and the complexities of urban spaces as sites of overlapping patterns of use across the diversity of their local residents. This work begins with a fundamental question: what can ecological perspectives teach us about the roles of sound/image media in facilitating human engagement with particular places? I address this question in the book I am now writing for Oxford University Press, entitled An Acoustic Ecology of the Cinema.  Here I argue for the value of situating soundscape research within the discursive framework of film sound theory to generate what I call “reflective audioviewing”: a method for attuning both researchers and practitioners to the role of sound in the enmeshing of media and place.  The last chapter is informed by my recently completed postdoctoral research fellowship with Barry Truax at Simon Fraser University in which I investigated how the sound aesthetics and practices in Vancouver-based film and media can be informed by the 40 years of research on the city conducted by the World Soundscape Project (and vice versa).

In 2012 Organised Sound published an early treatment of my concept of reflective audioviewing, and you can read some of the results of my postdoc research in my contribution to the new anthology Cinephemera: Archives, Ephemeral Cinema, and New Screen Histories in Canada edited by Zoë Druick and Gerda Cammaer (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014), and also in Cinephile (10.1) and on the Sounding Out! blog.

From my base in Montreal I am continuing my work on the World Soundscape Project to develop the “Mapping Audiovisual Vancouver” project, exploring the potential for digital cartography to assist research into the longitudinal relationships across media content in the collections of several of the city’s archives. The first stage of this project was to plot the recording locations of the WSP archive into Google Maps and interlink the relevant pages in the WSP database, a process that has raised questions about digital archiving that I’m now exploring as member of the WFAE Committee for Best Practices on Metadata for Sound Archives. This work has also fueled a multimedia project, entitled Bell Tower of False Creek, which explores reflective audioviewing as a creative practice that can engage the complex dynamics of contested spaces in the area surrounding Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge. The initial component, a “soundwalk composition”, was presented at the Lisbon Triennale last year. I wrote about the project in the latest issue of Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology (14.1).