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Sound, Space and Identity John Wynne, Ain Bailey, Fari Bradley, Chris Weaver

29 Oct 2015

Join us to hear sound artists John Wynne, Ain Bailey, Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver talk about their practice and research which engages in different ways with identity, space, field recordings and representation.

  • Venue

    Stuart Hall Library

  • Time


  • Artists

    Ain Bailey

Audio recordings of the talks are available at the bottom of this page

Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver‘s current exhibition Close to Karachi features sound, sculpture, print and found objects produced in responses to their recent residency in Pakistan’s only port, the world’s second most populous city, Karachi. For their research, the artists visited workshops making Pakistan’s distinctive truck art, and recorded the people and thoroughfares of the city.

How does Karachi’s socio-economic structure and history affect the aural landscape of the city? The practice of “sound mapping” generally ignores the political and contested nature of cartography. While artistic and fruitful projects, they are often subjective and rarely accountable to the societies they chart. Does one’s own position affect the angle from which one records?

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Photograph of Bob Wilson in his home on the Gitxsan reserve at Kispiox, British Columbia by Denise Hawrysio. From John Wynne’s installation Anspayaxw.

John Wynne‘s diverse, research-led practice includes large-scale sound installations, delicate sculptural works, flying radios and award-winning ‘composed documentaries’ that hover on the borders between documentation and abstraction. His work with endangered languages includes a project with click languages in the Kalahari Desert and another with one of Canada’s indigenous languages, Gitxsanimaax. He is currently working on a project based on young members of the LGBTQ community in Botswana alongside photographer Sara Davidmann.

This talk, illustrated with images and sound, will focus on John’s ‘socially engaged’ practice, exploring the politics of representation, the mediation of technology and the asymmetrical relationship between researcher and the ‘other’.

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Still taken from Oh Adelaide (2010) ©Sonia Boyce, courtesy the artist

Ain Bailey will explore the notion of a collection as a personal, living archive. A music collection, which comprises vinyl, CD and download material might also be said to constitute a sonic autobiography. Particular songs/passages of music can be seen as markers of important parts/stages of ones life. Perhaps it also reflects the construction of my own wilfully idiosyncratic and fragmented identity. Black, Queer, Female, Feminist and Composer – amongst other formations. What is the relation between the archive and my electroacoustic compositions? Is the selection of the work of female composers such as Pauline Oliveros and Else Marie Pade tantamount to a feminist intervention?

The presentation/performance will endeavour to explore how the archive has led to and perhaps even shaped my creative practice as a sound artist. As an unabashed lover of Wham and The Smiths, as well as Alice Coltrane and Eliane Radigue, by way of the glitter of 1970s disco and beyond, has the assimilation and embedding of a variety of genres into my subconscious fermented into a compositional vocabulary?


Ain Bailey‘s is a sound artist and dj, and currently a Leverhulme Trust Artist-In-Residence at Birkbeck, University of London. Her electroacoustic compositions are created for a variety of forms, including multichannel and mixed media installations, moving image soundtracks, and live performance. Works include the soundtrack for the film ‘Oh Adelaide!’, a collaboration with the artist Sonia Boyce, currently on show at the Whitechapel Gallery. She has exhibited at venues including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Tate Britain, The Showroom, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Iniva.

John Wynne is an award-winning artist, Reader in Sound Arts at the University of the Arts London and core member of the CRISAP research centre. He has a PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London. His Installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum cleaner became the first sound art in the Saatchi collection in 2009.

Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver are artists working collaboratively across a variety of performance and media practices. Focusing their enquiries on the cognitive, physical, and architectural potential of sound, their works encompass experimental music, radio, performance, and sculpture. In a field of perception dominated by visual culture, the pair investigate acoustics as a means to establish and question new sets of social relations between subjects and space. Working together since 2006, they have released vinyl records, composed and performed music works, and participated in thematic group shows across the UK. Since 2013, they have been a presence on the art scene in Dubai with major commissions for Art Dubai, a long term residency and solo exhibition at Tashkeel and the release of a new artists edition record with The Vinyl Factory. Work from their research in Pakistan, includes weekly broadcasts on UK’s art-radio station Resonance104.4FM