Chris Dorsett is a Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University. He is an artist and exhibition-maker whose career has been built on cross-disciplinary collaborations with collection-holding institutions (most notably a pioneering series of projects with the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford between 1985 and 1994). For three decades Dorsett’s activities have situated the aesthetic and political ambitions of experimental fine art within a diverse range of historical and scientific contexts. Thus his research profile includes exhibitions set within outstanding national collections (for example, the Royal Swedish Armoury and the Natural History Museum in London) and fieldwork residencies undertaken at ‘collecting’ locations as different as the Institute of Amazonian Research (organised with the Centre for Economic Botany, Kew) and the Chinese walled village of Kat Hing Wai (commissioned by the Arts Development Council of Hong Kong).
Samuel Barry is an interdisciplinary artist currently completing his Master of Fine Arts at Northumbria University. His recent research interests include the ontology of performance documentation and explorations of diagrammatic structures. The work he creates attempts to map conversations of diachronic structures versus episodic structures whilst also acknowledging notions of slippage, and performed narratives of self. He has been awarded the Sarabande Foundation scholarship in partnership with the Lee Alexander McQueen foundation and recently exhibited work at Hannah Barry gallery in London.
Siân Lyn Hutchings & The Noematic Collective The Dominant Eye (2018)
Responding to the overload of visual media dominating our contemporary senses, Siân Lyn Hutchings and The Noematic Collective will develop a series of interconnected projects that foreground the use of sonic interpretation on site: a series of live weekly podcasts, a tailored programme of sonic workshops and, installed permanently in the Bold Tendencies Auditorium, a sonic library of the site’s ongoing and evolving aural history.
Siân Lyn Hutchings (b. 1994) is an artist currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at Northumbria University. Siân’s practice is grounded in understanding environments through ‘active listening’. Her work approaches experience through an equality of the senses, working on sites as an aural architect. Through her work, Siân aims to highlight the importance of sonic understanding, acoustic ecologies, and how we can navigate experience through a multitude of senses beyond the West’s ocular-centric lens. Recent solo exhibitions include GB8NOE with The Noematic Collective, BALTIC, Newcastle (2018), Transmission in collaboration with Richard Waring, Sea Music Sculpture Anthony Caro, Poole, Dorset (2017); The composition of Sway, ArtSway, Sway, New Forest (2016); and 48 Bags of Sticks, Sound Installation, ArtSway, Sway, New Forest (2015). Group shows include Re:Sounding, Audiograft, Oxford (2018) and Strange Pursuit, Vane Gallery, Newcastle (2018). Siân has completed residencies at The Arts University Bournemouth and the Imagine 2020 lab, ArtsAdmin, Slovenia, in 2016. In the same year she won the Best Collective Award with her graduating year, Free Range Shows, The Old Truman Brewery.
The Noematic Collective founded by Sian Hutchings in 2016, are a collective who explore how we can understand place, environments and social impacts through sound. Currently the group consists of practicing artists, students and graduates from Arts University Bournemouth, Charles Pritchard, Georgie Ryan, Tobias Gumbrill, Oscar Lockey, Oliver Matich, Maddison Collymore and Sian Hutchings. They have exhibited in BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, The Drawing Studio, Arts University Bournemouth and have run sonic-based workshops at Goldsmiths University, Northumbria University and Arts University Bournemouth. The manifesto of the group is to increase the understanding and thoughtfulness of sound and the importance of sound where vision has been the dominant sense in western culture.
In this talk Charlie Pritchard, Georgie Ryan and Maddison Collymore from the Noematic Collective discuss with Jason Dungan on the relations between musicology and video. Jason has previously run sound and video workshops at The arts University Bournemouth where he works as a visiting lecturer and taught the collective members. Through his involvement in the band ‘Squares and Triangles’ we talk about the challenges of improvisation and their unique position in practicing and performing. We also talk about how this ethos feeds into video work and the emergence of the term ‘accidental cinema’. The video work is also used as an organisational strategy in the band and is interpreted into sound.
Maddison Collymore is studying Fine Art and entering her final year at the Arts University Bournemouth. She is a practicing artist with her work focusing on the body as a performing object where the actions are documented through voyeuristic recordings on camera. Voice is a deliberate instrument for obtruding and communicating meanings of authority, control, and observation. Collymore is also a member of the Noematic Collective.
Charlie Pritchard is an artist recently graduated from his BA at Arts University Bournemouth. Charlie’s practice focuses on immaterial or invisible forces, beliefs, theories and superstitions characterised by a specific time or place. His work channels these imaginative frameworks through mediums such as performance, sound or video to activate objects and places.
Georgie Ryan is a recent BA fine art graduate from Arts University Bournemouth. Georgie’s practice revolves around the materialities of environments. Often focused on how ephemeral details such as sounds, textures or fittings can alter spaces. This is a question taken on through performance and installation work. Things that usually fall into the periphery, such as old media technology or building supplies, often stage an encounter with cultural associations of the objects.
Salomé Voegelin is an artist and writer engaged in listening as a socio-political practice of sound. Her work and writing deal with sound, the world sound makes: its aesthetic, social and political realities that are hidden by the persuasiveness of a visual point of view. She is the author of Listening to Noise and Silence, 2010 and Sonic Possible Worlds, 2014, her third book The Political Possibility of Sound, will be published by Bloomsbury in November 2018.
Voegelin co-convenes Points of Listening, a monthly event for social listening and sound making, with Mark Peter Wright, www.pointsoflistening.wordpress.com, and uses her score/phonography blog www.soundwords.tumblr.com, as a template for a participatory public listening, writing and sounding. As an artist Voegelin works collaboratively with David Mollin, in a practice that engages words, things and sound and focuses on invisible connections, transient behaviour and unseen rituals.
invite three friends for diner
sit, always two across from each other
serve Spaghetti Napoli
ask your friends to make a rolling sound
when they wind the spaghetti onto their fork
and another sound every time they swallow a mouthful.
www.soundwords.tumblr.com February 09, 2017, 3:42pm
Diner Song (if you have no friends)
wear a white shirt
switch on the television
cook yourself Spaghetti Napoli
sit down in front of the TV
eat the spaghetti without winding them onto a fork
make voluble slurping sounds as you suck in the pasta
try to be louder than the voices on TV.
www.soundwords.tumblr.com February 12, 2017, 11:19pm
In this discussion Sian talks to Andy Weir, artist and Fine Art lecturer at The Arts University Bournemouth. Together they discuss the importance of improvisation, un-learning music and art hierarchies.
Barry Truax is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication and (formerly) the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University where he taught courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic composition, specializing in soundscape composition.
He has worked with the World Soundscape Project, editing its Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, and has published a book Acoustic Communication dealing with all aspects of sound and technology.
Dr Cara Courage is a placemaking academic and practitioner, and Head of Tate Exchange, Tate’s space and programme dedicated to socially engaged art. Cara is a Research Adjunct at University of Virginia and has worked in regeneration-led placemaking as a Strategist at Futurecity. Cara has a 20-year career in the arts and is author of Arts in Place: The Arts, the Urban and Social Practice (Routledge, 2017), her monograph of her PhD creative placemaking research, and the co-editor of Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2018). Cara is a member of the Placemaking Leadership Council, Fellow of the RSA and Academician of Academy of Urbanism, and member of Royal Geographic Society, American Association of Geographers and International Council of Museums. Cara’s career spans 17 years, working in arts in the public realm and public engagement with the built environment, active across all artforms in this and working as a consultant and project manager for public and private initiatives, as well as having her own placemaking practice.
Erik Davis is an author, scholar, and award-winning journalist based in San Francisco. His most recent book is Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica. He explores the “cultures of consciousness” on his weekly podcast Expanding Mind, on the Progressive Radio Network, and earned his PhD in religious studies at Rice University. His next book, High Weirdness: Drugs, Visions, and Esoterica in the Seventies, will be published in 2019 by Strange Attractor and MIT Press.
Caroline A. Jones is Professor in the History, Theory, Criticism section of the Department of Architecture at MIT. She studies modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on its technological modes of production, distribution, and reception, and on its interface with sciences such as physics and biology. Jones has also worked as a curator, notably at MIT’s List Visual Art Center: Sensorium (2006), Video Trajectories (2007), and Hans Haacke 1967 (2011). Her publications include Machine in the Studio: Constructing the Postwar American Artist (1996/98, winner of the Charles Eldredge prize), Picturing Science, Producing Art (co-edited, 1998), Sensorium: embodied experience, technology, and contemporary art (as editor, 2006), Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (2005/08), Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense (co-edited, 2016), and The Global Work of Art (2016). Her current research collaboration with historian of science Peter Galison examines patterns of occlusion and political contestation in seeing and unseeing the Anthropocene.
Alison Carlier’s work stems from an interest in how we understand, process and communicate through speech, writing and drawing. Over the last few years she has been making spoken sound works that she calls ‘audio drawings’. These works create a textual picture for the listener, allowing them to complete the work through their own imagination.
Recent work has seen Carlier collaborate to make site specific sound works (‘Spiky Black’ for Metal at Chalkwell Park, Southend) and an audio walk (for Surrey Unearthed). She was awarded the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2014 for her audio drawing ‘Adjectives, Lines and Marks’).
Simón Granell studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art and The Slade School of Art, London. He is currently MA Fine Art Course Leader at the Arts University Bournemouth. His practice is primarily painting-based, supplemented by drawing and text-based works. A consistent thread sees work that mimics dynamic systems such as chaos theory, involving processes that are similarly highly responsive to initial conditions; small differences in initial conditions resulting in widely divergent outcomes, despite the adoption of the deterministic nature of the systems.
Curatorial projects include Underground (2007) with Roger Ackling and Eric Butcher; a site-specific collaboration in the labyrinth of basement rooms at Shoreditch Town Hall, London, A Machine Aesthetic (2013-2014) at Gallery North, Northumbria University, The Gallery, The Arts University Bournemouth, University of Lincoln, Norwich University of the Arts and Transition Gallery, London and I know what I like (2015) with Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren.
Solo exhibitions include In no particular order (2008), text+work, Arts University Bournemouth, á Sanchez Cotán (2009) Trondheim, Norway and Nov ’07-May 09 (detail), Projectspaceplus, Lincoln. Other projects include The devil finds work for idle hands at Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco (2012), Drawology: drawing as phenomenology (2013-14) Bonington Gallery Nottingham and Lanchester Gallery, Coventry and Midpointedness (2015-15), The Lock Up, Newcastle, Australia and AirSpace Projects, Stoke on Trent.
He has also published a range of text-based works including The New Desk (2016) In: Spyridou, T & Appios, V, CakeJournal Issue 1 – Can I have some of that? Nov ’07-May 09 (detail) (2014) In: Andrew Bracey Detail. London: Transition Gallery. Ten Diary Entries [2010 – 2012], Journal for Artistic Research (JAR3) and guest-edited Garageland Magazine, Issue XVI ‘Machines.’
Tim Shaw is an artist concerned with the many ways people listen, specifically how listening environments can be constructed or explored using a diverse range of techniques and technologies. I have a background in recorded sound and my practice is anchored in the creative use of field recordings. I use a variety of self-constructed technologies to playback and manipulate recordings to create complex sonic environments. I am interested in appropriating communication technologies to explore how these devices change the way we experience the world.
In performances Tim improvises with field recordings, microphones, modular synthesisers, sculptural loudspeakers and resonant sound objects which, when combined, create layered listening environments. He uses a variety of self-constructed technologies to playback and manipulate his recordings. The unfolding composition incorporates elements of uncertainty and indeterminacy processed through room acoustics, computational systems and networked infrastructures.
He is particularly interested in the relationships between site, sound and technologies. Presenting work through musical performances, installations, walks and site-responsive interventions his practice attempts to expose the mechanics of systems through sound to reveal the hidden aspects of environments and technologies.
He presents work at galleries, festivals, museums, through residencies and cultural events nationally and internationally. Recently his work has been presented at Cafe OTO, London (2018) Fri Art, Fribourg (2018), New Ear Festival, New York (2018), History of Bosnia Museum, Sarajevo (2018), ARC, Switzerland (2018), bb15, Linz (2017), Baltic, Gateshead (2017), Stereolux, Nantes (2016), FACT Liverpool (2016), Eastern Bloc, Montreal (2016) and The Wired Lab, New South Wales, Australia (2016). Tim works as a lecturer in Digital Media at Newcastle University and recently finished a UK tour with Phill Niblock.
The Ecology of Sound was a symposium to mark the culmination of The Dominant Eye, a project by Sian Lyn Hutchings and The Noematic Collective, commissioned by and hosted during the summer of 2018 at Bold Tendencies. The Dominant Eye has seen the creation of a new site-specific Sonic Library at the car park. The Library is an evolving holding of field recordings made by visitors, members of staff and guests, archiving the wide variety of sounds that can be recorded on site, from orchestral music to dramatic readings of wall text, spoken diary entries to improvised poetry. These sounds are recorded on cassette tapes, indexed and installed in the Straw Auditorium designed by Practice Architecture. The Sonic Library will form a permanent addition to the site.
Throughout the project, Sian, who is based in Newcastle at Northumbria University, has broadcast into the car park a series of podcasts with colleagues - artists, researchers and writers - all of who share a concern with the dominance of the visual in 21st century culture. For The Ecology of Sound Sian brought together artist and writer Salomé Voegelin, artist Tim Shaw, writer and artist Andy Weir, and artist Angus Carlyle to discuss the hierarchy of the senses and how we can better utilise other modes of perception to navigate and construct meaning from experience. The event focused on how sound is currently used in day-to-day experience, and how it could be further extended to enhance a multi-sensory experience of pedestrian life.
Angus Carlyle is a researcher at CRiSAP at the University of the Arts, London, where he is Professor of Sound and Landscape. He edited the book Autumn Leaves (2007) and, with Cathy Lane, co-edited On Listening (2013) and co-wrote In The Field (2013). He wrote the monograph A Downland Index (2016), an exercise in nature writing on the move. His art works have included 51° 32 ' 6.954” N / 0° 00 ' 47.0808” W (2008), Some Memories of Bamboo (2009), A Crossing Bell (2016) and In The Shadow of the Silent Mountain (2016). Air Pressure (2011 – 2013) was a collaboration with anthropologist Rupert Cox, as is Zawawa (2015 - ) an exploration of sound on the island of Okinawa.
Vocal Site Report, David Mollin and Salomé Voegelin, Tabacalera Gallery, Madrid, Spain 2017-18
Courtesy of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain, photo by Andrés Arranz
The WSP group at SFU, 1973; left to right: R. M. Schafer, Bruce Davis, Peter Huse, Barry Truax, Howard Broomfield
Field Recording, The WSP database archive, see https://www.sfu.ca/~truax/wsp.html