Spatial Sound

Ecologies of

On November 2016, the Spatial Sound Institute presented ‘Ecologies of Listening’ - an exhibition curated by Paul Oomen, featuring sonic sculptures by Mark Fell, J.G. Biberkopf and Casimir Geelhoed in 4DSOUND. Each in their own way, the artists explored evolving ecosystems of sound in space. Rather than a composed or performed statement to be traced back to the creators, the works represented self-organizing ecologies that originated from the actual environment. Sounds formed a biotope around the listeners, a living space that expanded, contracted, changed and adapted in response to the behaviour of people in the room. Clouds of sound clustered and dissolved by their invisible force field of attraction, sonic architectural constructions transformed and shifted as the listener passed through them - giving rise to hyper-individual experiences of a sounding reality. The listeners could conceive their own personal experience whilst influencing the experiences of others around them, shaping collective ecologies of listening.

The exhibition was highlighted by a new computer-driven work created by electronic music pioneer Mark Fell, consisting of hundreds of individual orchestral instruments regenerated into cloud structures that change shape over the course of several days. Fell is widely known for exploring the relationships between popular music styles, such as electronica and club musics, and typically academic approaches to computer-based composition with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems. Since his early electronic music pieces, Fell’s practice has expanded to include moving image works, sound and light installation, choreography, critical texts, curatorial projects and educational activities.

The exhibition also premiered the work of emerging young artists J.G. Biberkopf and Casimir Geelhoed. J.G. Biberkopf works within the paradoxical relationship between club music and art music. His work is typified by assembling collages spanning a range of influences from dark ecology, sound studies, architecture, media theory, existentialist movements, post-dramatic theatre, grime, musique concrète and more. His sonic ecologies consist of aural signifiers, taking sounds that are eminent in public sphere, and noises that work as signs or memes, to explore the semiotics of sound.

Casimir Geelhoed is a composer, producer and creative coder. Geelhoed's performance has mostly been developed during night time, while the artist tried to recall and recreate memories and feelings on both a conscious and subconscious level. Being part of the development team of 4DSOUND, Geelhoed has been developing his own technical tools to generate meaningful and evocative movements of sound elements in space. Specifically for this performance he wrote software that controls the behaviour of sound sources in the space, mimicking the working of an ecosystem.