Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department or School/College

School of Art

Committee Chair

Brad Allen

Commitee Members

Charles Nichols, H. Rafael Chacón


Biophilia, Perception, Place, Sculpture, Site-Specific, Sonification, Sound Art, Sound Theory, Technophilia, The Ephemeral, The Natural


University of Montana


Jam, Burke, M.F.A Spring 2013 The Shadow of Polaris: Understanding Sound and Place Chairperson: Associate Professor Brad Allen The Shadow of Polaris examines perception, perspective, and place. My research investigates a critical theory of sound as phenomenon and art object. The phenomenon of sound informs our perception and perspective of place. It articulates questions about how we experience and interact with the physical world. My intention is to create an experiential understanding of the physical and, more specifically, the natural world. Nature’s ephemeral cycles are symbiotic with the human experience of life. Examining this relationship illuminates how we perceive, experience, and interact with the world. With human population close to seven billion, the natural world is at a critical point, socially and ecologically. My questions are further explored by examining the ideas of biophilia, technophilia, and sonification. The relationship between these ideas is synchronous with the idea of intimacy with place in today’s world. If we listen, our pre-existing ideas of what we know about our world, and our place in it, begin to shift. Polaris, the historical visual beacon of location, becomes a new point of reference. Our ability to interweave information about perception, perspective and place into clear points of connection, allows us greater understanding of our world and the vital relationship we each have with place.



© Copyright 2013 Burke Travis Jam