SOFTA Research Lecture Series: Seeing Sound and Listening to the Image



  • Title: Seeing Sound and Listening to The Image
  • Speaker: Dr Nick Cope
  • Date: 16 May 2019
  • Time: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
  • Venue: IAG08


The common conception of film as a binary construct composed of sound and image precludes engagement with the transsensory or intersensory experience of cinema. A number of filmmakers, yet surprisingly few theorists, have concerned themselves with the ways in which the senses of sight and sound combine, mix and sometimes blur in cinematic experience (Birtwistle, A. 2010. Cinesonica, Manchester University Press, p.19).

From its outset in the early 1980s, Nick Cope’s audiovisual practice has centred on a creative engagement and exploration of the encounter of sound, music and image, exploring an interzone between milieus. In my work sound and image are commensurate and their combination distinct to practices where sound is subservient to image as in the movie soundtrack, or where image is in the service of sound and the commercial and industrial requirements of the pop promo. The work has wilfully and knowingly explored transsensory and intersensory, synaesthetic and kinaesthetic, film and video making practices. This lecture will look at various examples of Cope’s filmmaking and explore how filmmakers might engage with notions of ‘the new audiovisual aesthetic’, the ‘intersensory’ nature of filmmaking, and the importance and role of sound in audio-visual practice.


Dr Nick Cope

Dr Nick Cope is a British Academic and Filmmaker who has taught media production in British Universities for over 20 twenty years, and more recently in China. He has been making films since the early 1980s, often in close collaboration with musicians and has screened work all over the world at film festivals, concerts, galleries, cinemas and art installations. The exploration of the close relationship of sound and moving image is central to Nick’s work and he completed a PhD in 2012 examining the contexts for his practical work. He also writes about this practice and its contexts in academic journals and publications. Nick has travelled widely in China and south-east Asia since 2005 filming and documenting Buddhist non-tangible and visual culture. An archive of work is online at