University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Landscape Quartet: strategies for ecological sound art

Sansom, Matthew Landscape Quartet: strategies for ecological sound art In: Music and ecologies of sound. Theoretical and practical projects for a listening of the world. International Symposium, 27 - 29 May 2013, University of Paris 8, France..

Strategies_for_Sound_Art_(REF).pdf - Presentation

Download (120kB)


Landscape Quartet is a UK Government Research Council funded project that aims to develop methodologies for environmentally ‘participative’ creative practices. Challenging dominant epistemologies that tend towards distancing and objectification it adopts instead a ‘sonorous logic’ that tends towards proximity and interconnectedness. The participating artists position themselves as part of and integral to the work, seeking out ways of ‘sounding with’ the environment rather than observing and documenting it. Drawing from a variety of practices (soundwalks, free improvisation, direct contact of instruments with the environment), possible outcomes are open and deliberately multimodal (including, for example, site-specific performance, installation, video, fixed composition). By applying insights gained from contemporary critical thought and sound studies the project will develop models for how we as humans can ethically and creatively interact with the environment. This paper considers solo work (an audio-visual piece combining site-specific improvised electronic performance, field recording, and video) by one of the four participating artists, Matthew Sansom. Examples from the artist’s previous practice will be considered alongside the work’s performance and subsequent construction to give an account of it as environmentally responsive and interconnected. Two central theoretical ideas are considered in relation to the work’s phenomenal basis and resulting conceptual and practical methodologies: firstly, Tim Ingold’s description of the qualities of sensory experience (light, sound and feeling) as phenomena of ‘the weather-world’ and not as their various landscape, and hence scopic, assimilations (2011: 134); and, in connection with Ingold’s process-led and relational understanding of the human being (a singular locus of creative growth within a continuity of unfolding field of relationships (2000: 4-5)), the idea of ‘place’ as a unique location of change. As artist Roni Horn has written, “So here is Iceland: an act, not an object, a verb, never a noun.” (2000: 105). By way of conclusion, the paper will consider the dynamics of how a discrete artistic artefact can resonate with the participative agenda of the project as a whole and this particular work’s specific methodological approach.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Funders : AHRC
Projects : Landscape Quartet
Depositing User : Matthew Sansom
Date Deposited : 19 Jul 2017 16:42
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:47

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800