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Autumn leaves : sound and the environment in artistic practice

By Angus Carlyle

Abstract

This publication is a book that represents an innovative, international and multi-disciplinary approach to conceptualising the dynamic relationships between sound and the environment. The editorial process involved directly commissioning textual, graphic and photographic work. The vast majority of the book represents new work, produced specifically for this publication. For the purposes of tracing historical development, an article from 1974 and three older projects have been revived and recontextualised. In addition to the editorial responsibility, the researcher wrote the introduction and conducted three original interviews. The book draws work from visual, sound and performance art, acoustic science, anthropology, cultural studies, public policy, and architectural theory. Just as it is true to say that these disciplines have not previously been brought together in this way, equally, it is no exaggeration to identify the contributors as the leading international lights in the field: Chris Watson, Tim Ingold, Hildegard Westerkamp, Christina Kubisch, Alvin Lucier, David Toop. The book is published by Double Entendre, the French publisher of the premier sound arts journal, Vibro. The book is accompanied by an audio compilation published by the German record label, Gruenrekorder (Gruen 053). www.autumn-leaves.gruenrekorder.de. The researcher co-curated the compilation, selecting relevant work that illustrated the book’s themes. The book was the catalyst for a one-day symposium at the Tate Britain called The Performance of Sound (May 19th, 2006), which the researcher co-organised. The researcher was invited to speak on the book at the Audio Extranautes: Flux, Distance, Sociability symposium at the Villa Arson in Nice in December 2007. Autumn Leaves has been reviewed in the French journal Mouvement; in MCD where the reviewer reported that “this book deserves to be translated into French”; and Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology. Soundscape 7 (1), Autumn, 2007 reprinted an interview conducted by the author from the book. Autumn Leaves, edited by CRiSAP co-director Angus Carlyle, seeks to draw together a number of different perspectives on how the environment is made audible through sound. The perspectives contained in the book are made manifest through more traditional textual analyses, interviews, image-based works (both photography and graphic illustration) and ‘artist’s pages’ (which combine different registers of information). Among the articles included in the book are a superb deconstruction of the concept of soundscape by anthropologist Tim Ingold; an intriguing analysis of sound from an acoustic point-of-view (or point-of-audition) by Bill Davies; Steve Goodman’s dynamic opening up of city sound to a bass materialism provoked by Greg Lynn’s ‘blob’ architecture; Salome Voegelin’s evocative mapping of sci-fi aesthetics onto the project of acoustic ecology; a wonderful meditation on the heard and the unheard by David Toop; Sylvain Marquis powerfully drawing out the ‘presence’ of Phill Niblock; Rahma Khazam finding new ways of listening through an inspired conceptual conversation between art, architecture and relational aesthetics; and a re-print of Hildegard Westerkamp’s pioneering discussion of soundwalking from 1974. Interviews include a wide-ranging discussion with Alvin Lucier about his work and working practices; an exploration of Christina Kubisch’s long-standing commitment to teasing out the complexities of the sounds that surround us; Peter Cusack providing an exciting account of his Sound of Dangerous Places project; Chris Watson talking us through his inspirational field-recording; and Max Dixon offering fresh perspectives on how the development of strategies for noise in urban environments meshes policy with research into bio-acoustics, acoustics and creative practice. Images include Dan Holdsworth’s haunting representations of anechoic chambers through Charles Fox’s photographs of microphone arrays in the wilderness, Axel Stockburger’s ASCII art evocations of video-game space and Nicholas Gansterer’s intricate diagrams of our heard world. What remains of the book is devoted to the artists’ pages. In these a whole host of contemporary practitioners spanning the disciplines of graphic design, music, photography, performance and visual art offer their provocative takes on sound and the environment. Here we encounter John Wynne and Tim Wainwright presenting their collaborative work in Harefield Hospital; Aki Onda pursuing his Cinemage project; Claudia Wegener finding poetry in ear- and eye-witnessing; an unpacking of the theories and technologies behind the exciting Locus Sonus audio streams; NYSAE opening up its portfolio of acoustic ecology-inspired activities; Goran Vejvoda mobilising a modular manifesto from his three decades of sound art; the Gruenrekorder label reviewing the thinking behind its 40 releases; Jem Finer show-casing his Score For A Hole in the Ground; Cathy Lane mapping her memories of the Hebrides; Zoe Irvine making an art of places out of abandoned audio tape; and Mira Choi introducing her noise-responsive graphic software. The editorial work and its presentation has been a collaborative venture with the designer Ian Noble. Autumn Leaves is CRiSAP's first book and is edited by CRiSAP Co-Director Angus Carlyle[/b] and published by the exciting French sound art initiative Vibro / Double Entendre. It contains work by a variety of artists including several of CRiSAP's members - Salomé Voegelin, John Wynne, Peter Cusack, Cathy Lane and David Toop

Topics: Sound Arts & Design
Publisher: CRiSAP / Double Entendre
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk:661
Provided by: UAL Research Online
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