Marcus Leadley : AudioLab10

AudioLab10: The Language of Place
March 2010

A two day event coordinated as a joint venture with Labculture Limited/PVA MediaLab, an Arts Council RFO based in Bridport in Dorset. I programmed an afternoon session of artist/academic talks and listening opportunities into the Salt House at West Bay in Dorset, delivered the day’s introduction and chaired the event. The day’s morning session was the presentation of work by four artists involved in a week-long residency, each exploring different sonic aspects of the Dorset location. Work was presented by Rob Mullinder, Ivon Oats, Pali Meursault and Marc Yates. Afternoon presentations were made by: Jennie Savage, Peter Cusack and Duncan Whitely. These speakers were chosen for the way their practices engage with sound and environment and I was able to interrogate their observations and experience along a trajectory defined by my research questions. Presentations, discussions and question and answer sessions were fully documented for future consideration.

The second day programme revolved around a trial series of three parallel soundwalks, each led by a facilitator and conducted with a different protocol. On the first walk people (led by Joe Stevens) were encouraged to observe and discuss the sound around them; on the second (Ivon Oats), participants were asked to proceed in silence and respond to the sonic environment by drawing or mark making. On the third walk (which I led) participants were asked to locate sounding objects and interact with them. All walkers met up at the Salt House at the end of the walks and the different perspectives proved extremely interesting. However, discussions were informal and only partially documented, and extra time if being planned for the walk discussion section of AudioLab10.01 at Whitstable in June. Each walk was recorded and an unexpected outcome of the project has been the active engagement of three of the participants on the walk I coordinated. Adam Baker, Adrian Newton and Allan Upton are now remixing and editing these recordings. The idea is that I will do the same and we will then gather to discuss our observations of different listening/expressing aesthetics.