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Research Interests


My research interests, publications and interdisciplinary collaborations
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Press photos

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Some 'Excitations' images at higher resolution.
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A brief introduction to my current position at the University of the West of England
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My contact details and email address at the University of the West of England.
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Brief biographymichaela

I am a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media in the Department of Creative Technologies at the University of the West of England (UWE).

My teaching specialisms and research interests span across play and interaction, physical (sensor-based) computing, sonification of complex processes, generative art and music, installation art, web design as well as multimedia authoring.

I lead a number of modules on UWE's BSc courses in Digital Media, Audio & Music Technology, Creative Music Technology as well as the new Ma/MSc in Creative Media Technologies.

I also enjoy supervising some of the more unconventional final major projects, which often connect sound design with physical computing and/or human computer interface design.

In 2010 I successfully completed my PhD in 'Listening to the Mind at Play - Sonified Biofeedback as Generative Art Practice and Theory' (London Metropolitan University), for which I created a body of work entitled Excitations.

My supervisory team included the writer Nico de Oliveira, the composer Javier Garavaglia and the musicologist Lewis Jones. With The Breath of the Moon and Sonic Severn I have now continued to create sonic art with a focus on generative processes.

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and - together with the Human-Centred Design Team - have been awarded one of UWE's Teaching Excellence Awards 2010. I am also an external examiner for the MA Digital Media at London Metropolitan University.

The research I undertook for my PhD led me to explore many kinds of generative practices, amongst them Eastern philosophies and practices such as Zen and Yoga, which I have been engaged in for some time now.

My full CV can be downloaded here.

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Research interests

Having entered the postdoctoral phase of my career, my preferred approach to research is to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams. My own specialities are sonification (the making-audible of internal processes), physical (sensor-based) computing, as well as multimedia authoring. I also enjoy taking part in science communication and qualitative research projects, and am part of the Creative Technologies Lab at UWE. In terms of theory, my main areas of enquiry are play and interaction, complex generative processes in art and music, and emergence.

Recent conferences and exhibitions

In June 2011 I took part in Digicult, a DCRC networking event at UWE, and in September 2011 I showed recent sonification work at the Inter-Society of Electronic Arts (ISEA) conference in Istanbul.

Some of my sonification work was also shown at the Water:Image Conference in Plymouth (June 2012), and the Bristol Festival of Nature 2012.

Recent and forthcoming publications

Palmer, M (2010), 'Listening to the Body's Excitations', Performance Research, Volume 15, No. 3 (Routledge/ Taylor & Francis (London & New York) Sept 2010). The issue focused on Listening; and featured images, sounds and texts from my biofeedback work Excitations. The article can now be accessed here.

Palmer, M (2011), 'On Breathing and Geography - sonifying the Severn as shared generative art practice' in Proceedings of the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts (ISEA 2011), Istanbul, Turkey.

Palmer, M (2012) 'Designing human computer interfaces', chapter for Moschini and Lane (eds), The Digital Media Handbook: Theory and Reflective Practice, Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education (forthcoming).

Palmer, M and Jones O (2012), 'On Breathing and Geography. A discussion of data sonification and rhythms in processes, with illustrating examples from the tidal Severn Estuary (UK)', Environment and Planning (at peer review stage).

Future developments

Owain Jones has successfully bid for a NWO-AHRC arts and humanities research exchange project, in which my sonification research will play a part. Title: '"Between the Tides". Comparative arts and humanities approaches to living with(in) intertidal landscapes in UK & the Netherlands. Learning from those who live and work with complexity, change and fragility' (to take place 2012-2013).

My colleague Martin Robinson and I have recently initiated a research project on ambisonics and induction loops, which explores and evaluates new methods of creating generative sound works.

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Contact details:

Dr. Michaela Palmer

Senior Lecturer in Digital Media

Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies

Faculty of Environment and Technology

University of the West of England

Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane

Bristol BS16 1QY


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Press photos

excitations image

Excitations, work in progress 2005, © Michaela Palmer

excitations image

Excitations, final performance 2009, © Michaela Palmer

excitations image

Excitations, final performance 2009, © Michaela Palmer

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