Resonant Ruination

My enquiry responds to the irresistible forces of change by means of a series of soundwalks that navigate space via differing temporalities. Participants are led through and between superposed layers to expose histories, legacies, and memories both personal and cultural, exploring the potential for the re-imagining of sonic and human environments undergoing rapid periods of change.
I capture spatialised binaural field recordings of specific spaces in time and interweave references to other temporalities, before leading participants through the original site alongside listening to the recording. I apply Shklovsky’s concept of ostranenie (defamiliarisation) through the placement of alternate sonic frame on the immediate environment to undermine what is taken for granted as stable and authentic, and to emphasise the constructed-ness of our reality. An augmented reality is thus created, animating post-industrial ruins such as the former Spode ceramics factory in Stoke-on-Trent, and ruins-in-waiting such as the current developments in Nine Elms on London’s South Bank, positing questions concerning the circumstances of their current state as well as a multiplicity of potential futures, what future humans might make of our present day.

My enquiry’s significance is evidenced by my inclusion in the international network Topographies of the Obsolete, comprising 40 international artists and theorists from partner institutions in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the USA, France and the UK, as well as invitations by organisations such as Nine Elms on the South Bank, for whom I devised a sound walk for their Winter Walks season (2017). My contribution to the publication Walking through post-industry. (In: A.H.Mydland and N. Brownsword, eds., Topographies of the obsolete: site reflections. Stoke on Trent: Topographies of the Obsolete Publications, 2015) articulated the context for my practice, developed through residencies and exhibitions held at the Spode site and elsewhere. 

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