the ether swaddles me | you | us: Becoming-Khora in Light, Sound, and Transmission Art Open Access

Kooi, Meredith (Spring 2021)

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This dissertation develops theoretical grounding centered on Plato’s khora for analyses of experiential, time-based art that uses light, sound, and the electromagnetic spectrum. It analyzes artworks by James Turrell, Pauline Oliveros, Joyce Hinterding, Tetsuo Kogawa, Anna Friz, and Sally Ann McIntyre using an assemblage of terms that I argue share affinities with khora. These terms are drawn from feminist science and technology studies, psychoanalysis, quantum physics, and philosophy, and include agential realism, O, the Unconscious, semiotic chora, Lichtung, and ether. These analyses present new considerations of the experience of Being, reopening questions about epistemology, ontology, experience, knowledge, perception, and objectivity. It argues that the way these artworks ask us to tune into the world and ourselves is essential in developing a theory of grounded and embodied, yet transcendental and metaphysical, Being.

Table of Contents

Preface: Making a Beginning 1

Introduction: Becoming-Khora 6

Positioning 15

Embodied Arrivals 26

Narrative 1 27

Narrative 2 31

The Maternal Embrace: Khora 33

Ether: Is everything connected? What world is this? 34

Approaching Unconscious Desires 41

Feminism 42

Listening 49

Form & Method 50

Transmission Art 52

Practice-Based Research 53

Chapter Overviews 59

Chapter 1. Khora 63

The Maternal Matter of Khora 74

Semiotic Chora 78

The Matrix 81

Khora as the Dream of the Unconscious 87

Khora as Irma's Open Mouth 90

Khora as Bion's O 93

The Bright Side of Khora 96

Conclusion 99

Chapter 2. James Turrell: The Cave, Khora, Inner Light, Lichtung, Paradoxical Light 100

Biography & Art Historical Context of James Turrell 106

Philosophies of Being 111

The Cave and Khora 111

Meditation Room 114

Light and Spirit 117

Paradoxical Light 125

Conclusion 128

Chapter 3. Pauline Oliveros: Learning to Listen & Sonic Entanglement 130

Pauline Oliveros History 135

On Listening 141

Deep Listening Band 145

The Soundscape vs The Sonosphere 148

Soundscape 148

Sonosphere 149

Quantum Listening in the Quantum Field 152

Conclusion 156

Chapter 4. Installation Art in/as the Quantum Field: Joyce Hinterding's Aeriology 158

Hinterding's Electromagnetism: The She of Nature 161

Joyce Hinterding's Artistic Practice 165

Rosalind Krauss, "Sculpture in the Expanded Field" 169

Redefining the Field 171

Ether, Khora, Matrix, Void 177

Conclusion 178

Chapter 5. More from the Field: Three Transmission Artists 180

Tetsuo Kogawa: Micro-Democracies & Proximity 183

Anna Friz: Desiring Distance & Longing Language 190

Sally Ann McIntyre: Calls of Conscience & Transmitting Loss 197

Conclusion 208

Conclusion: I am a Quantum Listening Being 209

Places for Further Research 212

Bibliography 213

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