Tim Barnes

Listening gives structure to the formless material of sound and so my research led practice must position it a substantial material. Unbound and disseminating, it is shaped only by the attentive critical listener who composes whilst negotiating the soundscape, an auditory orienteer.

My artwork therefore becomes something of an evaluation, forming and assessing ideas relating to the auditory object, the dynamics of perception and critical listening as a creative making practice. Listening within the changeable parameters of a sound piece's source would suggest I am moving within an auditory object, with no set frame or structure. In effect, this is an invisible sculpture, one that we listen to as the sensory material of sound floods the space. The listener is welcome to modify the way in which space is experienced through the agency of sound and my kinetic sculptures work to voice this insight.

My research proposes a structure of critical listening. Salomé Voegelin's recent book Listening to Noise and Silence renders the critical listener within an aesthetic position as both perceiver and producer of the work of art. John Cage demonstrated the listener as audible in the anechoic chamber and thus the listener, especially in silence, is given a performative potential as sounds from within the body converse with the external soundscape. Perhaps this sonic sensibility serves as a strategy of engagement, a model for criticality.

Silence is like the everyday material from which a readymade could be articulated and in considering a sound installation, one must examine found sounds alongside the constructed. Kinetic sculptor Max Eastley shares this sensitivity towards sonic material, as do the Wandelweiser group, their sounds are material visitations puncturing through shrouding silence.