Anglia Ruskin University
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Pulse project : an investigation across bodies, cultures and technology

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:41 authored by Michelle Lewis-King
This thesis introduces Pulse Project (2011-2016), a creative research series exploring an ecology of complex relations between art, humanities, medicine, and technology. In this series, I embody transdisciplinary research practice through my performing as an instrument or medium between others and myself, and between cultural traditions for understanding and mediating the body. Drawing upon my expertise as a clinical acupuncturist with training in biomedicine, I use Chinese medicine and music theories to inform my algorithmic soundscape compositions. These soundscapes are not sonifications of modern Euro-American principles of circulation or embodiment but offer another perspective to conceive of/listen to the interior spaces of the body-in-being. In this transdisciplinary study, practice-based research is used to give form to the transdisciplinary research process by producing performances, personalised sound works, graphic notations and interpersonal correspondences that interweave artistic, medical and technological ways knowing together into new material configurations. This project also questions the distinctions between premodern and modern, East and West and self and other. To investigate these distinctions, Pulse Project interrogates the aesthetic and philosophical axioms underpinning modern and contemporary art, medicine and technology through using premodern Chinese medicine and music theories in tandem with cutting edge technology. Thus, this research travels laterally between cultures, practices and epochs and calls for a radical change in conceiving of the body in ‘oriental’ and ‘occidental’ terms in order to both reduce ethnocentrism and also to travel beyond the tired bifurcations between mind and body, self and others and Western and othered cultures. In combining art, technology and diverse medicines together with contemporary digital culture, this project opens transverse lines of inquiry that create new interconnections between disciplinary practices, whilst at the same time, it generates new forms of cultural engagement through performance and sound works.



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