Mareike Nele Dobewall's public defence

Mareike Dobewall’s public defence of the Documented Artistic Research Project (Doctoral Thesis) in Performative and Mediated Practices: Voicelanding – Exploring the scenographic potential of acoustic sound in site-sensitive performance.

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Voicelanding – Exploring the scenographic potential of acoustic sound in site-sensitive performance


  • A live performance of Musica Mundana
  • The Body of Sound
    (Printed in SKH publication series X position, no 16)
  • Listening Into
    (Printed in SKH publication series X position, no 16)
  • Spaces as Voice Teachers
    (Printed in SKH publication series X position, no 16)

A digital exposition in Research Catalogue
including documented art projects and reflective texts

Participants during the Public defence 22 October 2021:

External Opponent

Michael Francis Duch was born and raised in Norway, and plays the double bass. Duch is a former member of the The Young Academy of Norway. He completed his project “Free Improvisation – Method and Genre” as research-fellow at the University of Trondheim (NTNU) late October 2010, where he has been doing research on Free Improvisation and the use of Improvisation in Experimental Music. He has been involved in about 70 recordings released in various formats, and has played solo-concerts various places in Norway and Sweden, and also Reykjavik, Athens, Madrid, Vienna, Glasgow, Huddersfield and London. Michael Francis Duch plays in a trio with Rhodri Davies and John Tilbury, the improvquartet LEMUR with Bjørnar Habbestad, Hild Sofie Tafjord and Lene Grenager and various other constellations. Other collaborations include Pauline Oliveros, Mats Gustafsson, AMM, Christian Wolff, Tony Conrad, Joëlle Léandre, amongst others.

Examination Committee Members

Johan Jutterström is originally a saxophonist and jazz musician but also composes music outside his genre. Johan received his PhD in 2018 in Stavanger with a research project in which he investigated a musical expression and material based on how bodies move through space. Together with Anna Lindal and Andreas Hiroui Larsson he conducts the practice-based artistic research project Lethe (2020–23) at SKH, in which they investigate forgetfulness as a method and guiding principle for an artistic process.

Joslin McKinney is the Programme Director of the Masters in Performance Design at the University of Leeds, UK. She completed her PhD in 2008. In June 2015 she was appointed to chair the international jury for the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. She is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (ARHC) peer-review college and a member of the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) executive committee.Joslin McKinney is the lead author of the Cambridge Introduction to Scenography (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and co-editor of Scenography Expanded: An Introduction to Contemporary Performance Design (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2017).

Maria Andueza Olmedo received her PhD in 2010 with the thesis Art Sound and City: A context for Urban Sound Installations. She teaches at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Madrid and with her sound art she creates new social spaces, indoors and outdoors. She also leads the research platform “Augmented Spatiality” which focuses on listening, sound and artistic processes in public space.

Substitute committee member:
Kent Olofsson is a composer and an artist in the field of performing arts with an extensive artistic output that spans a broad range of genres, ensemble types, art forms and contexts including music for orchestra, chamber music, electroacoustic music, contemporary theatre, dance performances, opera, radiophonic art, and rock music. For many years his artistic work and research have been particularly focused on exploring musical composition as dramaturgical strategies in interdisciplinary and intermedial theatre performances. Olofsson is a Professor of Performing Arts for the research

Principal supervisor
Wilhelm Carlsson

Second Supervisor
Trond Lossius

Cecilia Roos

Schedule Public defence

  • Welcome by Lise-Lotte Axelsson, Head of deptartment
  • The Chair Cecilia Roos opens 
  • The Respondent’s (PhD candidate) presentation
  • The Opponent’s summary 
  • The Opponent + the Respondent discussion 
     Audience short break
  • The Committee’s questions 
  • The audience’s questions ​
    Audience break/Examination committee meeting
  • The result is proclaimed

The documented artistic research project by Mareike Dobewall ‘Voicelanding – Exploring the scenographic potential of acoustic sound in site-sensitive performance’ is published in DiVA and Research Catalogue.

Abstract – Voicelanding - Exploring the scenographic potential of acoustic sound in site-sensitive performance

This practical artistic research project explores how the performance of acoustic sound in dialogue with site can create a sonic scenography, experienced by an audience from within the sonic structures.

Six art projects were carried out in the context of this research. Their form varies due to the site-sensitive approach that is employed: the space and the participating musicians are both the source and the frame for the resulting spatial sound performances.

During workshops the collaborating musicians are introduced to site-sensitive methods. They learn full-body listening, spatial sounding, and space-care. The musicians learn to co-create with the space. In a collaborative process, spatial sound compositions are created using the site-specific sonic material that is elicited from the dialogue between the performers and the space. The relation to the audience plays an important role in the sharing of the performance space and the experience of the sonic scenographies. Therefore, active audience encounter is considered practiced during the creative process towards the performance and it is further explored during each performance.

As sound is invisible and ephemeral it is a vulnerable material to engage with when creating scenographies. In this research its instability has revealed itself as an indispensable quality of a scenography that aims to connect the elements of a shared space and to make their relations perceivable.

There is a tendency to make ‘reliable’ material scenographies and to sustain spatial sound through audio systems while attempting to overcome the challenges a site brings to performance. This approach to performance, scenography, and spatial sound composition, however, limits the relation between acoustic sound and site. In my sonic scenographies the performers are dependent on the dialogue with the space in order to create sonic structures that can be experienced by an audience. The attention needed for this collaboration is space-care. It includes care for all entities in the space, and especially the audience. The ephemeral quality of acoustic sound creates an active sonic scenography that performs together with the musicians, and engages multimodal listening.

The resulting spatial sound performance includes the placement and movement of sonic expressions that are specific for each instrument-site relation. In the created performance, as the audience can ‘roam through’ it, they can experience a sonic scenography that unfolds around them. In the interaction of performers and audience in these shared spaces (architectural space and sonic space) a social space can develop that allows for an ephemeral community to emerge.