Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design
Lecture - honorary doctor

Honorary doctorate lecture by Camille Norment

This Honorary Doctorate lecture invites thinking through sound as I unfold an evolution of my practice across art and music.

Camille Norment playing instruments on stage
Palazzo Grassi

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Sound is a physical force that connects everything in its omnidirectional path through expanding waveforms of energy that touch and move through all. Similarly, my work utilizes sonic perspectives to simultaneously navigate through various concepts and art forms including installation, performance, drawing, sculpture, and composition into unified wholes. In this presentation, I will offer some insight into this expansive approach to my art and music practice, through the dynamic framework of cultural psychoacoustics, a term I will briefly introduce here.

The term psychoacoustics names a set of relationships between sound, space, and perception, focusing on the formal physics and psychology of hearing as sound interacts with an environment. It entails the study of sonic phenomena as it meets, interacts with, and is transformed by encounters with other forms - objects, structures, bodies and minds across time and space. I coined the term cultural psychoacoustics as a dynamic aesthetic and conceptual framework through which to give critical attention to, politicize, and form
new perspectives on individual, social, and environmental interactions, from sonic orientations, particularly instances of sonic and social dissonance. Here, the sonic is not only sound listened to, but sound felt, and even imagined as potential futures.

Within the framework of cultural psychoacoustics, rather than focusing on assumed notions of proprietary “Culture”, my investigation identifies “cultures” as interdependent frameworks, practices, and orientations, that are both formed yet always changing. For example, selected phenomena from cultures of perception, cultures of social relationships, cultures of science, cultures of listening, cultures of musicking, cultures of environmental awareness etc., are investigated through sound and music, becoming inherently
interconnected. Another important notion of the term “culture” that is actively relevant and influential in my process, is the biological term “culture” that names a nurturing environment whose purpose is to facilitate growth. Cultural psychoacoustics works through sound and music to create and evolve artworks that are physical, psychological; somatic and cognitive, regardless of form. I will share how my artwork similarly seeks to create experiences which, in turn, gently nurture liminal critical and imaginative thought-processes through the phenomenology of those who experience the work.

All this said, it’s important to emphasize that my work strives to embed, or “digest” criticality to produce experiences that, like music, can be powerful yet elusive; physically tactile, yet fleeting; derived of criticality, yet knowledge-sharing through the aesthetic experience. This is in-keeping with a long and valued history of knowledge production of a type that can only be produced by artistic practices and experiences.

In favor of aesthetic experience, the lecture itself will incorporate performance, image, speech, sound and music.