Immateriality is a new touring exhibition, showcasing the work of seven contemporary artists, each exploring sound as the primary medium or subject matter. It is a collection of work that examines the material and physical limitations of sound. Artistic responses to this theme are diverse, taking the form of sculptural works, sound installations, musical instruments, publications, sheet music, and text-based artworks.
The collection highlights the conceptual, philosophical, and phenomenological relationships between sound and silence – presenting both material and immaterial sonic experiences. Most of the works do not create audible sound; instead, relying on the participation and willingness of the audience to produce it, either acoustically in the space or internally in their minds. Collectively the work posits a fundamental question: what is necessary for sound to exist?
For this exhibition the artists present an austere body of work that is minimally constructed and fabricated with inexpensive materials; reflecting a generation of independent artists trying to continue to produce meaningful work despite pressures from precarious living situations, personal hardship, and difficult financial times.
Immateriality has been curated by Joshua Legallienne and is the latest touring exhibition of sonic art in this series. As with previous iterations, the works are installed, presented, and de-installed in each venue within the timeframe of a single evening, aligning these events more in line with the format of DIY punk shows than with contemporary art exhibitions. By showcasing the work in less formal contexts, it is hoped these events will bring sonic arts to a wider, more inclusive, audience. Immateriality is an independent venture and is run without external funding.
Jordan Edge (UK)
Joshua Legallienne (UK)
Daniel W J Mackenzie (UK)
Ecka Mordecai (UK)
Ingrid Plum (DK)
David Leslie Stearn (UK)
Robert Stokowy (DE)
Jordan Edge (UK) is a contemporary sound artist & experimental composer from the UK. Edge’s practice communicates the act of listening over time, and listening as a process to develop a greater understanding of our environmental and sonic surroundings. Through experiments with raw materials, industrial objects, and architecture, Edge manipulates the medium through which sound travels, creating sound environments that explore the physical and psychological effects of noise on the human experience. Through the mediums of space, sound, and sonic object; he constructs organic sculptural works that create durational sonic experiences and environments – articulated through controlled or uncontrolled conditional qualities of an existing structure. Edge was the recipient of the Seoul (South Korean) Award of Excellence for his large-scale installation work, Acclimate.
Joshua Legallienne (UK) is a sound artist based in Brighton, UK. He is best known for Action Without Action, a series of acoustic sound works that he has been developing since 2012. His artistic practice explores the sonic qualities of everyday materials, producing high-fidelity sound without the use of loudspeakers, electronics, or conventional sources of energy. His work investigates the relationship between environmental phenomena and the physical properties of raw materials; attempting to highlight the importance of active listening and its role in staying present in an increasingly fractured and virtual world. Legallienne’s work is unmediated, mostly undocumented, and in line with this the artist has no website or online presence.
Daniel W J Mackenzie (UK) produces works of noise, drone, and conceptual composition under his given name and the more studio focused project Ekca Liena, and is an active performance collaborator in numerous groups. His artistic studies of sound through installations and academically driven experiments have developed alongside released albums of composed work. As a sound artist he has exhibited internationally, working with visually and sonically imposing sculpture, meditative multichannel tone-work and soporific sound collage, refining the approaches towards noise, quietude and lightness that has appeared in parts of his release history. Mackenzie is increasingly influenced by the globalisation of sound and the role it plays in forging connections, sharing environments and transporting listeners. His activities and curation – which spans music, sound, sound art and film – reflect this approach.
Ecka Mordecai (UK) is an artist working with sound, performance, and composition. She graduated in Sound Art from University of Brighton (BA) and London College of Communication (MA). Since then she has pursued a career primarily as a ‘cellist (free improvisation, contemporary classical, experimental) in both live and recorded contexts. In her work there is an emphasis on listening and the cultivation of a personal language based on listening. She currently works with Andrew Chalk and Tom Scott as Circæa, and in a cello duo with Kate Armitage. Past collaborators include: Thurston Moore + Christian Marclay, David Toop + Rie Nakajima, Ex-Easter Island Head, Sam Weaver, Clive Bell, Holly Jarvis, and Dave Birchall. She worked at Islington Mill as the art director of CuspEditions record label, is the director-curator of Listening, then Talking which is a varied programme of public listening events. She has released on Faraway Press, Another Timbre, Vinyl Factory. Mordecai also DJs with Ecklego, a gathering of obscure record collector-selectors.
Ingrid Plum (DK) is a singer using extended technique, field recordings, percussion and electronics. Described by The Guardian as “gorgeously atmospheric vocal techniques woven around field recordings & electronics” she has performed and exhibited internationally since 2002, creating work that combines Folk Music, Contemporary Classical Music and Sound Art. Plum incorporates her research into folk traditions with field recordings and studied directly with Meredith Monk. Plum teaches workshops, is a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths University Of London and the University of Brighton, and Associate Lecturer at LCC. She is the founder of Bechdel, a DIY event platform for female and non-binary experimental acts. Recently, Plum performed in session for Late Junction and was commissioned by The Verb on BBC Radio 3 for International Womens Day.
David Leslie Stearn (UK) is an artist based in London. His practice works towards the continual investigation of the trace, the act and the humour of destruction as a means of creation. Stearn looks for ways in which to explore and perform the absurdity of materials and the applied stories or processes that can be associated with them – often finding the most extreme ways in which to alter the material or the context in which they are shown. He is interested in the comical aspects that can be created by staging simple and/or complicated gestures – typically through unannounced events – creating works that form a visual accident or experienced calamity. Stearn received his MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2017 and received his BA in Fine Art from the Byam Shaw School of Art. Stearn was selected as part of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2008 and has exhibited extensively in the UK.
Robert Stokowy (DE) is an artist, composer & artistic researcher from Cologne, Germany. His works are experimental compositions, text-based interventions, audiovisual performances and (radical site-specific) installations. All projects are framed by an overarching artistic research process, focussing on inner structural characteristics of sonic environments. With his work the artist wants to explore the epistemic and creative potentiality of his sonic surroundings. His aim is to give access, to experience new perspectives in our environment, by exploring the potentiality of sonic and visual structures in our urban surroundings. Emphasis is put on the aspect of the audible visuals as well as visual potential of sound. Using an interdisciplinary approach, his works investigate modes and possibilities of sonic accessibility. In short sound is used as a tool to understand one’s environment and the human condition.