Budhaditya Chattopadhyay

affiliation: Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is an Indian-born media artist, researcher, writer and theorist with a PhD in sound studies and artistic research from Leiden University. Prior to his PhD, Chattopadhyay has graduated from the national film school in India specializing in sound and completed a Master of Arts degree in new media and sound art at Aarhus University, Denmark. Currently, Chattopadhyay is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH), American University of Beirut. 

Chattopadhyay produces works for large-scale installation and live performance often dealing with contemporary social issues such as climate change, human intervention in the environment and ecology, race and migration. Conceptually, Chattopadhyay’s work questions the materiality, site-specificity, and object-hood of sound, and addresses the aspects of contingency, contemplation, mindfulness, and transcendence inherent in listening. His artistic practice intends to shift the emphasis from object to situation, and from immersion to discourse in the realm of sound and media art. His works are published by Gruenrekorder (Germany) and Touch (UK). Chattopadhyay is a Charles Wallace scholar, Prince Claus grantee, and Falling Walls fellow, and has received several residencies and international awards, notably a First Prize in Computer and Electronic Music category of Computer Space Festival, Sofia, and an Honorary Mention at PRIX Ars Electronica, Linz. His sound and video works are exhibited, performed or presented internationally. Chattopadhyay has an extensive body of scholarly publications in the areas of sound art, artistic research, contemporary media, cinema and sound studies in leading peer-reviewed journals, such as Organised SoundSoundEffectsJournal of Sonic StudiesThe New Soundtrack and Leonardo Music Journal. Personal website: http://budhaditya.org


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  • Being There: Evocation of the Site in Contemporary Indian Cinema (18/07/2016)
    Publication: Publication, Journal of Sonic Studies, artist(s)/author(s): Budhaditya Chattopadhyay
    Contemporary Indian films, in their essentially digitalised realms, incorporate techniques such as the location-based multitrack “sync” recording, and surround sound design that reorder the organization of cinematic sound. These practices contrast with the earlier mono- or stereo formats by reconfiguring the linear construct of a soundtrack to produce a spatially evocative sonic environment that offers the listener a more life-like auditory experience of the fictional site. Using significant examples from post-2000 Indian films, this article shows how earlier practices are being replaced by “sync” sound elements and surround sound mixing with a richly spatial arrangement of site-specific ambience. The article argues that these layers of ambient sounds lead to audiences establishing their embodied experience of presence with the fictional site via auditory spatial cognition and immersion in a cinematic soundscape. By situating contemporary sound production practices within the various trajectories of Indian cinema, this article contributes to the broader field of research examining the key developments and emergent aesthetics in constructing spatial environments for cinema.

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