RESEARCH: papers, conference presentations, books, residencies

Geos, topos, choros: three models for thinking about place

Conference presentations

Invisible Places 2017, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal, 7-9 April 2017.

Music, Technology, Innovation graduate seminar, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, 30 November 2016.


The Ancient Greeks had three concepts by which place was studied: geos, topos, and choros. Of these only Ptolemy's geography has survived to any extent. This geometric approach to algorithmic map generation instantiated an ocular model, one with an implicit hierarchy placing us outside the world. In contrast, the topographic describes place in a narrative, by way of circumnavigation, predicated on the subjective experience of tracing out a route, often unknown beforehand. The chorographic is a metaphorical approach that examines regions on the Earth by considering the influence of the heavens, in a model that acknowledges mutual effects. This paper proposes that these lost concepts of place are useful in critiquing contemporary sonic practice.


This paper will be available as part of the proceedings of the conference. Expect this before the end of 2017.