Author:Kristen Sharp (RMIT University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper traces fieldwork in the practice of three contemporary sound artists as a process that forms and materialises the imagination through the presence of being in place. It draws from anthropology, art history and human geography to analyse the practices of creative production in sound art.
Paper long abstract:
This paper traces the use of fieldwork in contemporary sound art practice as a research process that materialises the imagination. As a practice of artistic enquiry, fieldwork borrows from anthropology in method and concept and yet is grounded in approaches and concepts from art practice and production. Using the example of three contemporary sound artists: Samson Young (HK), Philip Samartzis (AUS) and Eric La Casa (FRE), this paper seeks to understand their practice of creative production through an inter-disciplinary framework drawing on anthropology, art history and human geography. These artists have been selected as examples of different methods of practice in fieldwork: remote regions (Samartzis), local and everyday urban spaces (La Casa), and historical and socially significant sites (Young).
The paper seeks to understand the role of fieldwork and how it operates as a material, social and symbolic form in and of itself, and as part of the process of creating finished artworks for exhibition. Undertaking fieldwork for these artists shapes not only their material engagement with place, but also the perception of place and subjectivity through the interrelationships of artist, site, artwork, audience and exhibition. Fieldwork, and the presentation and exhibition creative work generated through fieldwork, brings the process of creative production to the forefront. This analytical approach expands the understanding of artistic practice to examine fieldwork as a vital process of materializing and forming the imagination through the presence of being in place.
Materialising the Imagination: How People Make Ideas Manifest