F O R T H C O M I N G E X H I B I T I O N S
Bodleian Library presents
May 2022 (Expected) | Weston Library, Oxford | Free to attend.
Exploring the experience of the book beyond reading, Sensational Books features books and items from the Bodleian’s collections that invite a sensory response across the five senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch and beyond.
Visitors will be able to experience the sound of manuscripts unravelling, the smell of vellum in early books or the touch of an old book cover and have many other sensory experiences with the treasures on display. As e-books grow in use, this exhibition captures the renewed interest in the material book, as evidenced by everything from the recent popularity of gift books to high quality book design.
This exhibition features a programme of sound works, including When Air Becomes Breath and Breath Becomes Spirit by Helen Frosi (SoundFjord). A performance score and installation inspired by feminist readings of embodiment, intimate sensory theatre and historical manuscript culture. Performed by Aine O'Dwyer and Hannah White.
The sonic arts programme is produced in collaboration with Fusion Arts.Exhibition information (Bodleian Library) website.
E X H I B I T I O N S
Please scroll down to see recent activities
Stillness.Subtropical / Stillness.Oceanic
04 August 2010 - 25 September 2010 | Wed - Sun | noon-6pm
Opening event (Stillness.Subtropical): 03 August 2010 | 7-9pm | RSVP
Opening event (Stillness.Oceanic): 04 September 2010 | 7-9pm | RSVP
Stillness takes its inspiration from the two climates Yann Novak have inhabited: Subtropical in Los Angeles and Oceanic in Seattle. In these works he investigates these climates’ almost static meteorological states and their emotional effect on their inhabitants.
Stillness.Subtropical and Stillness.Oceanic are presented as a large scale projection with a 4.1ch sound element. This produces an immersive experience that changes so slowly the effect is imperceptible to the audience and creates a nearly static state.
The sound element was created using a recording of shortwave radio tuned to static in Los Angeles. Because radio waves are effected by both water vapor in the troposphere and ionization in the upper atmosphere from the sun, the recording contains a unique signature from the atmosphere the waves traveled through. Similarly the video elements is made up of numerous photographs taken over a span of months, always pointed at the horizon. These photographs capture a more literal portrait of the climate. These elements are then digitally altered to create an ambiguous abstraction, leaving enough of the source to guide the experience and define the location, but abstract enough to create an immersive environment perfect for contemplation and personal reflection.
Song-Ming Ang will present You and I, a conceptually-driven interactive work instigated and developed during his residency in August/September 2010 at SoundFjord.
You and I is a project featuring public participation and explores the notion of the community using the subject of sound. The work recycles a practice in the 80s / 90s – of how friends and couples made mixtapes on cassette for each other – and updates the practice through a current audio technology (CDR and iTunes) to highlight contemporary practices such as CD burning and file sharing.
LIVE RADIO! Curated by Matthew MacKisack
Cast and Figment: Radio as Metaphor and as Such
15 October - 05 November 2011 | Online and in-house | Various times (see below)
Opening event: 15 October 2011 | Richard Hughes’ A Comedy of Danger (Broadcast 6pm sharp) | Celebrations: 5-7pm | Free | RSVP
An apparatus, whose technical peculiarity simply consists in enabling sounds made at a particular spot to be simultaneously reproduced in as many and as far removed places as one wishes by disrespectfully breaking through boundaries of class and country, signifies a spiritual event of primary importance.
It is considered unquestionable that technique and science undermine superstition. But the class character of society sets substantial limits here too. Take America. There, Church sermons are broadcast by radio, which means that the radio is serving as a means of spreading prejudices. Such things don’t happen here, I think – the Society of Friends of Radio watch over this, I hope? (Laughter and applause) Under the socialist system science and technique as a whole will undoubtedly be directed against religious prejudices, against superstition, which reflects the weakness of man before man or before nature. What, indeed, does a “voice from heaven” amount to when there is being broadcast all over the country a voice from the Polytechnical Museum? (Laughter)
 Rudolf Arnheim, Radio: an Art of Sound, 1936 .
 Leon Trotsky, Radio, Science, Technique and Society, 1926
Cast and Figment consists of a series of live broadcasts by artists and writers, exploring the medium's aesthetic, political and ontological implications, making it produce concepts, images and problems. Cast and Figment can be heard, with information on the programme, at: castandfigment.org.
With broadcasts from: David Berridge, Bridget Crone, Karen Di Franco, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Homeland, David Howells, Mikko Canini, Matthew MacKisack, Tamarin Norwood, Hal Silver, Dan Smith, Jonathan Trayner, and many others. (See schedules for details.)
Saturday 05 November | Closing event - 2:30-5pm
3.00pm: Dan Smith, Modern Conditions (2010/11)
3.30pm: Mikko Canini, title tbc
4.oopm: Bridget Crone, EASY LISTENTING MEETS FLICKER-TIME /A conversation between analogue and digital broadcast transmissions about time and affect (2011) Audio/Video work
On the last day of Cast and Figment SoundFjord is open to the public.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend, and please arrive before 3.00pm, when the final transmission will begin with a live reading by Dan Smith.
Modern Conditions is comprised of the words of radio broadcasts made by H.G. Wells for the BBC, drawing out a sense of utopian potential and possibility within these extraordinary recordings made for a mass audience. This is followed at around 3.30pm by another live reading in which Mikko Canini considers White Noise on the Radio. Most analyses of media draw a historical line from the telegraph, through radio, to the internet, and do so by focusing – for example in McLuhan’s analysis – on form rather than content. Thinking, instead, about the form of the content produced by these technologies would divide the historical stream into two groups: one that begins with the telegraph and leads to the telephone, and one that begins with radio and leads to television and the internet. While these groups might conventionally be distinguished in terms of public versus private receptions, the distinction to be pursued here is the capacity of the latter group to produce noise. The programme concludes with the 1st screening – and 2nd broadcast of the soundtrack – of Bridget Crone‘s video Easy Listening Meets Flicker-Time, a “conversation between analogue and digital broadcast transmissions about time and affect”. By 5.00pm we will be ‘off air’. Please return to this website and subscribe to our newsletter for announcements regarding future auditions of Cast and Figment: Radio as Metaphor and as Such.
Wednesday 02 November
The final week of Cast and Figment includes broadcasts from Mikko Canini, Bridget Crone, Karen Di Franco, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Homeland, Hal Silver, and Dan Smith. Cast and Figment ends on the afternoon of the 5th of November with a live public event at - and simultaneous broadcast from - SoundFjord (free, please rsvp here); see also castandfigment.org for details.
This evening’s broadcast begins at 7.30 with Karen Di Franco‘s Concrete Radio. Concrete Radio attempts to describe the relationship between producer and the originator by exploring the liminal space of transmission and reception. Broadcasting within the Soundfjord studio, Music for the Next to Die will present a fractured dialogue for two radios, describing the economics of traversing the nameless zones, overlays of the near future and recent past as performed on the gold trading floor of the World Trade Centre and how to make the most of Time. Click here for programme details of Music for the Next to Die. Next Lawrence Abu Hamdan will introduce a new work from the Aural Contract Audio Archive. Part of an ongoing research project into the politics of language and the conditions of voice faced by the Druze community in Palestine/Israel, On the Borders of Bilingualism, writes the artist, “offers an account of how borders, jurisdictions and colonial occupation become inscribed and worn on the voice of its subjects.” The work will then be discussed within the context of the Aural Contract Audio Archive (accessible here) by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Karen Di Franco and Matthew MacKisack.
Two artist-groups take to the airwaves this evening. At 7.30, Hal Silver speaks. Hal Silver has collected transcripts from a wide-range of speeches, manifestos and articles of public address, focusing on those whose rhetoric assumes the mantle of speaking on behalf of “the people”, the singular that speaks to and for the plural. Hal Silver will re-make these speeches – edited and redacted – as six voices speaking the terms of collective command and affirmation, sometimes overlapping, sometimes punctuating the silence. Then, at around 7.45, the collaborative project Homeland will hold A Conversation Around Presence, a broadcast for both analogue and online radio. Depending on their chosen medium, listeners will encounter one half of a conversation which addresses what it means to be live, in dialogue and in occupancy, as well as it’s own fragmented nature. As a framework, the conversation opens up to a range of concerns explored through Homeland including communication across boundaries, the domestic space, utopian potentials and the psychological effects of technology and capitalism.
Monday 31 October
Schedule - Week 2
Cast and Figment continues into its second week with performances and readings from David Berridge, Claire Chard, Sidsel Christensen and Matthew MacKisack.
Wednesday 26th October
Tuesday 25th October
Monday 24th October:
At 7.30, hear Study for Composition I (audio) (2009), by Sidsel Christensen, with Rohid Juneja. In an extract from Christensen’s ongoing experiments in hypnotic regression, the hypnotised artist narrates the rise and fall of a secret cult in ancient Greece. Separated from the video to which it has previously been the soundtrack, the monologue encourages the listener to imaginatively align themselves with the narrator’s psychical explorations. In turn, radio’s atavistic promise, what Gaston Bachelard saw as its ability to evoke collective archetypes in the creation of domestic reveries – effectively relocating the psychoanalytical session to the airwaves* – is made powerfully manifest. Study for Composition I is followed at 7.50pm by Matthew MacKisack‘s Hörspiel (The Tribulations of Usefulness) (2010): “Looking from one window, you see the Statue of Liberty; from a window in another wall, you see a daffodil. A daffodil is sitting on top of the torch held up by the Statue of Liberty. A daffodil is hidden inside the torch held up by the Statue of Liberty.”**
Hörspiel is a narrative radio play in which ‘remote viewing’ – a form of codified extra-sensory perception – is presented as a metaphor for radiophonic experience. Based on documentation of British military research into remote viewing***, the play also draws on the histories of radio drama and technology’s interface with the supernatural. The resulting scenario describes – potentially, enacts, for the auditor – the attempt to instrumentalise reverie. The cast of Hörspiel are: Olivia Armstrong as the Supervisor, Simon King as the Monitor and Adam Loxley as the Subject. It was written by Matthew MacKisack with Adam Loxley.
*In his 1951 essay ‘Reverie and Radio’, collected in The Right to Dream, 1971, trans. J A Underwood
** From U Neisser and N Kerr, ‘Spatial and Mnemonic Properties of Visual Images’, in Cognitive Psychology, 5, 1973
*** See http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FreedomOfInformation/DisclosureLog/SearchDisclosureLog/RemoteViewing.htm
Opening Celebrations | 15 October 2011 | 5-7pm | SoundFjord | RSVP
SoundFjord is pleased to host sound-artists Shirley Pegna and Wajid Yaseen for a two-day work-in-progress session exploring the resonant frequencies of objects in space, from Friday 02 – Sunday 04 December 2011, noon-6pm. Audiences are openly invited to interact and critique the work. The artists will be present to answer questions and to talk about the work and the ideas surrounding it throughout the research project.
Two separate installations, provisionally entitled Singing Windows and Ghost Quartet will explore sound in relation to objects, the gallery space, and indeed people themselves. Portable transducers will act as amplifiers thereby allowing observers and participants to expand their understanding of the properties of sound through a given object, and to explore their own association of place and sound.
During the research project, the artists will be collaborating and pooling their experience of working in diverse places and settings to investigate how sound travels through different materials, and to explore the compositional choices that can be draw from sonified objects. The facilities and space at SoundFjord will allow initial explorations within an interior gallery setting, with the long-term goal of developing work that can be presented inside and outside of a gallery.
Shirley Pegna is a research student from Oxford Brookes University, has been looking at sound waves travelling through different materials ranging from very long distance travelling sound waves and signals local and domestic sites.
Wajid Yaseen's work focuses on relationships between the body and sound, and manifests in a diverse range of practices from sound sculptures, installations, electroacoustic composition, tangible interfacing, and live performance. He is the co-founder of the destructivist event Scrapclub (scrapclub.co.uk) and co-director of the sound art collective, Modus Arts (modusarts.org).
07 - 20 December 2011 | Visitors by appointment only
Mem1 (Mark and Laura Cetilia)
Visiting Hours II
Sublimation: An Exercise in the Immersive
Curated by Helen Frosi (SoundFjord), France Jobin and Yann Novak
Oboro, Montreal | 03 March - 07 April 2012 | Please see gallery website for opening details
Vernissage: 03 March 2012 | 5pm
Sublimation is an exhibition featuring a range of audio-visual works created by eight international artists, curated in response to the concept of the 'Sublime Environment': the saturation of both sonic and visual landscapes, represented by works of absorbing sound and visual art. On the opening day Sublimation, the exhibition will be complimented by three live performances and an audio screening by ten international artists in the form of immersive sonic environments and contemplative sound sculpture. The sensory environment of the exhibition together with the live performances and audio screening will envelop the audience in both an emotional and visceral experience: drawn equally from sonic and visual spectrums.
Further information: English: www.oboro.net/archive/exhib1112/05_sublimation/info_en.html | French: www.oboro.net/archive/exhib1112/05_sublimation/info_fr.html
15 March – 21 April 2012 | noon-6pm | Thurs-Sat & by appointment
Closing celebration: 21 April 2012 | 7-9pm | All welcome | RSVP
Artist talk: 17 March 2012 | 4pm | Free entry | RSVP essential
A domestic reel-to-reel tape recorder bought at a car-boot sale, a spool of tape still on the machine. On the tape, a family’s audio diary from 1958 to 1967. In the last entry, the parents explain to their youngest son the reasoning behind the recordings: “It's for posterity,” the father clarifies. The mother adds, “for your children, and your chi...” She is interrupted, soon the tape ends. This new installation from artist Graham Dunning is an attentive document of his attempt to reunite the tape with its makers. Artefacts and correspondence are shown alongside the machine on which the recordings were made: the uncanny experience of disembodied voices playing through obsolete technology, a ghost in the machine.
In an age of digital media where memories – as photographs, videos and audio recordings – exist only as numbers on hard-drives and CDs, or online on a distant server, For Posterity calls into question the apparent advantages of digital over analogue technologies; the role of physical artefacts in preserving our own histories; and the function of archiving per se. Recent debates regarding online privacy focus on the personal traces we leave behind, the “right to be forgotten”, and the implications of policing this with regard to freedom of speech and censorship. These themes are also explored across the installation by way of the considered presentation of both personal and sensitive material.
Graham’s working practice deals with temporality, memory and narrative through sound, performance and installation. He is interested in people’s discarded memories and the function of archiving. Found objects, photographs and recordings feature in his work, investigating notions of the artefact and implied narrative. Experimentation is fundamental, and his practice is often informed by scientific or archaeological protocol.
Various themes and processes recur in his work including: sound and its relation to loss, nostalgia as mourning; exploring the world through listening and the specific sonic topographies of specific places; the questionable historical or other “objectivity” of an object; organising, arranging, and composing versus unpredictable inputs, random factors and chance operations; archiving, collecting and documentation in tension with ambiguity and open interpretation; and analogue and digital technologies and their (exploitable) limitations.
Generously supported by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND
Associated event: John Tilbury + Lee Patterson + Phil Durrant + Jamie Drouin + Angharad Davies + Johnny Chang
Variable Formations | Saturday 16 February 2013 | 8pm | Cafe OTO E8 3DL | Tickets: £8/6 adv | £10/8 door | Tickets: anothertimbre.com
Berlin-based sound artists Johnny Chang and Jamie Drouin present a new installation entitled Collected Gestures which explores connections between extraneous concert noise and the influence of ‘place’ in composition. The central components of Collected Gestures are recordings from three improvised concerts in Geneva, Bern, and Warsaw given during the week preceding their arriving in the UK. The installation at SoundFjord presents the concert recordings, as well as field recordings made before and after the concert at the various venues, through miniature speakers arranged in a simulated stage/audience environment.
Walking through the installation our attention is drawn magnetically back-and-forth between the overlapping compositions emanating from the 'stage', and the in situ sounds of voices, coffee machines, and room noises interjecting from the 'audience'. Collected Gestures creates an evolving single composition built from the dialogue between two artists, the influence of extraneous noises in their works and, finally, the audiences experience of relating those various events within a single room.
SoundFjord is delighted to announce its inaugural commission, Sbarbi's Arrow, an exhibition by Duncan Whitley, produced specifically for SoundFjord’s gallery space. Themes within Whitley’s work will be developed through a full programme of events taking place along side the exhibition. Sbarbi's Arrow is the first major creative output of Whitley's study of the saeta flamenca, a form of flamenco prayer, sung to the religious images of the Catholic Easter processions in Andalucia. The exhibition has been commissioned to coincide with the movable feast of Lent and Easter.
The title refers to an 1880 text by José María Sbarbi in which he describes the saeta as "a brief, fervent spiritual maxim, capable of producing in the mind an impression similar to that caused in the body by the wound from an arrow... capable, not of riddling the heart of the most hardened or indifferent sinner with arrows, but of giving a dead man gooseflesh." Whitley searches for traces of Sbarbi's metaphorical arrow within his self-reflexive investigations in contemporary ethnography, extending the metaphor from flamenco song to processes of recording, memory and playback.
During the celebrations, Whitley will undertake further fieldwork in Seville. By sending back images and text from 'the field' to the gallery space (which will be available for the public to peruse), Whitley will attempt to create a flow of ideas between the installed gallery work – a new video animation (duration: 23:00) by the artist, in which sound and space characteristically play a driving force – its moving images and sounds, and contemporaneously collected images, and texts.
Whitley's work in 'sensuous ethnography', explores territories between ethnographic filmmaking, sound installation and soundscape. His investigations are complex, drawing on numerous themes, including: the notion of performer and performance space or context; the differences between human and the recorded voice; a sense of belonging and community; the documentation and contextualisation of ethnographic practices through a variety of media and curatorial methodologies.
The Memory Room is a project by the Cork-based multimedia artist Danny McCarthy, whose pioneering art practice explores a combination of visual and auditory experiences. This new work consists of an ongoing series of installations in conjunction with a new book and CD published by the Irish sound art label, Farpoint Recordings. The project is curated by Anthony Kelly.
Opening (publication launch and performance): 22 May 2013 | 7:30-9:30pm | Free | Reservation tickets: www.memoryroomlaunchandperformance.eventbrite.com
With performances by The Quiet Club (Danny McCarthy and Mick O’Shea) and special guest, David Toop.
In conversation and performance event: 01 June 2013 | 2-5pm | Free | Tickets: www.memoryroomconversationandperformance.eventbrite.com
With performances by Danny McCarthy, and Anthony Kelly and David Stalling of Farpoint Recordings.
David Prior and Frances Crow
Of This Parish
08-09 June 2013 (2-6pm) | 2-6pm
Performance lecture: 08 June 2013 (12:30-1:30pm) | Free tickets (no admin fee): www.ofthisparish.eventbrite.com
Bells have had a central role in the formation and solidification of communities. They have an immense power to evoke, to impart a feeling of time passing, foster reminiscence and to consolidate an individual’s identification with an auditory site. The idea of a ‘Parish’ – a common device used to delineate territory while also defining a sacred community – is an articulation of acoustic space: the Parish can therefore be said to be the zone in which a church bell can be heard. This notion of ‘Parish’ as phonosphere is the point of departure for Of This Parish.
In April 2013 sound artist/composer David Prior and architect Frances Crow were invited by Binaural/Nodar to contribute to their residency programme as part of their Divina Sonus Ruris: Creative Labs in Sound Art programme (Sound of the sacred in the rural environment) in the Gralheira mountain range, North Portugal. Their work focused on the bells of the Parish Church in Sul, which formed the epicenter of the project. During the 3-week residency, Liminal devised 4 sound walks that were undertaken simultaneously by 8 young people from the surrounding areas of Oliveira, Aveloso and Sul. The walks started from the Sul Parish Church, to the sound of its bells being rung. At the beginning of the walk, the 8 recordists stood in pairs, back-to-back, each facing in the direction of the four compass points and then walked slowly along existing paths and roads that led most directly North, South, East and West.
The subsequent recordings were played back in the church simultaneously, each recording rendering the acoustic scene from a different perspective to the others. At the beginning, the recordings sound very similar but as the recordists move along their respective paths, only sounds loud enough to permeate each local environment – such as the church bell – permeate all four recordings. In this way the presentation of these four recordings in a single space creates an impossible listening experience, collapsing the entire acoustic territory of the Parish into its epicentre; the church that defines it. This site-specific installation was presented as part of the Tramontana Festival in Sul, on 27 April 2013.
During the weekend 08 – 09 June, Liminal will present an installation specially devised for the SoundFjord gallery based on ideas, sounds and images developed during the residency. At 12:30 on Saturday 08 June, Liminal will present a performance lecture in the gallery. The event is free, but a seat reservation must be booked (no admin free) here: www.ofthisparish.eventbrite.com
Liminal’s attendance at the residency and presentation at SoundFjord is made possible with support from Binaural/Nodar, Arts Council England and Falmouth University’s Sonva research group. Of This Parish is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts council England.
Associated events: Enrico Coniglio; Giovanni Lami/Alessio Ballerini; Fabio Perletta; Pietro Riparbelli/Giulio Aldinucci; Alberto Boccardi; Attilio Novellino
Gridshape (Franz Rosari/Francesco Saguto); Ennio Mazzon; Fabio Perletta | Power Lunches | 17 June | 8pm | £5 (door only) | powerlunchesltd.co.uk
The Italian Archive of Soundscapes (AIPS), is a collective of sound artists formed in 2010 by Alessio Ballerini and Francesco Giannico in order to document the changing face of the Italian soudscape and to promote the ecology of sound through a variety of workshops, soundwalks and soundmap projects covering different Italian cities including Taranto, Bisceglie and Rome.
Art of Improvisors
15 - 22 June 2017 | Cafe OTO and Project Space
A festival curated by Blanca Regina and Steve Beresford affirming the importance of women in free improvisation and arts.
This festival presents, in a variety of ways, both the back history and the current state of women in free improvisation. It also looks at free improvisation’s strong, but rarely noted, connection to visual work.
This show draws on a number of female artists who are part of the newer generation of free improvisers and also artists in different media. The exhibition will draw on an extensive body of previously unseen artwork, documentation and rich archive material. Exhibiting artists include Andie Brown, Tania Chen, Poulomi Desai, Helen Frosi, Sharon Gal, Rie Nakajima, Helen Petts, Julie Pickard and Blanca Regina.
The programme presents workshops with Maggie Nicols, Sharon Gal and Helen Frosi and a talk closing the show. It brings together some of the founding members of the UK free improvisation music scene, plus new generations of musicians and artists, unveiling previously unknown aspects of their art. Joining the evening performances at Cafe Oto will be Steve Beresford, Mandhira de Saram, Terry Day, Julie Kjaer, Maggie Nicols and David Toop.
An Art of Improvisers compilation CD of these artists will be released and available at the Festival and at Unpredicatable's online shop. Listen to a sneak peak of it via a radio show presented by Gal, Beresford and Regina (ResonanceFM).
Art of Improvisers is supported by Arts Council England, Cafe Oto, The British Music Collection, Sound and Music, Art+Feminism and is in association with the Wire 400.
Harriet Butler, Helen Frosi and Renzo Spiteri
Knowing Another is Endless
15 - 17 March 2019 | Various venues, Oxford (See below)
A set of exhibitions and associated events borne out of the audiograft festival's Artists’ Residency, with a focus on mapping, placemaking and re-worlding through sound.
Places can be familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, shifting both in relation to external factors and according to one’s mood, thoughts and perceptions. How might we find, or create, new meaning and relevance in a world that is dizzyingly kaleidoscopic? The residency undertaken this year as part of the audiograft festival focuses on mapping another knowing – a philosophical re-worlding and sensory placemaking – of three East Oxford sites, chosen specifically for their dynamic positions in Oxford.
Harriet Butler, Helen Frosi and Renzo Spiteri spent time at Fusion Arts, Ark-T and the Castle Car Park, absorbing the individual natural and cultural histories of the sites, through various acts of engagement, like the weaving of speculative fictions and sonic imagination through oral histories, road maps and archive materials…
The associated exhibitions and activities invite you to explore and rework these spaces into new ecologies and personal constellations.
Page Patina Trace | Exhibition
15-17 March 2019 | 12 – 6pm | Fusion, 44B Princes St, OX4 1DD
Lines and Points | Exhibition
15-16 March 2019 | 12 -6pm | Ark–T, Crowell Rd, OX4 3LN
Further information and exhibition descriptions.
Visits since 12 February 2012: