Sonic Animal Studies

Performing interconnectivity

Sonic Animal explores speciation in the age of technology. Fifteen wearable sound sculptures will be activated in live installations at venues including corporate, educational, contemporary art and industrial spaces. The sculptures will be adapted across the series in response to the behaviors exhibited by the performers wearing them.
Each performer’s journey, expressing their tasks in relationship to their acoustic environment, highlights questions about our own relationship to maintaining balance in a technology-saturated world. Taken as either a metaphor for an augmented form of evolution or an analysis of a simple factory product’s development, we are juxtaposing organic development and manufactured development in order to challenge audiences to define for themselves where they draw the line between organic and inorganic. Sonic Animal is grounded in a modern day reality of body meeting technology, sparking subjective questioning of one’s own personal identity and social evolution.
Sonic Animal will offer a poetic rendering of cyber-speciation as a metaphor for our contemporary culture’s co-evolving relationship with technology. The sound art and performance scores will represent our humanity: sensitivity to our visera and the drive to communicate. The wearable sculptures will represent the possibilities and limitations of corporeal form, interlaced with questions of technological balance. The live performances are a chance to explore our desires for collaborative expansion and displaying the real-time articulation of this moment in our collective history.

Collaborator: Karl Cronin – An American artist working in performance, film, installation, and music.

The central core of his performance work is on-going art practice called the Somatic Natural History Archive (SNHA), in which he is using his body to physically rendering the embodied histories of 10,000 plants and animals. SNHA is influenced by his training in contemporary dance, including his work with Deborah Hay and JoAnna Mendl Shaw. His methods are based on contemporary performance scoring practices, Western figurative drawing techniques and Zen calligraphy. His work emphasizes systematic documentation and categorization, which bares traces of his work in cognitive science research (from 2001-2005 he collaborated on a series of research projects looking at cognitive development in children at the Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies and Harvard Medical Schools’ Music Neuroimaging Lab).


His work has been presented at the Boston Institute for Contemporary Art (MA), Intersection for the Arts/5M (CA), Jay Etkin Gallery (Santa Fe, NM). He has been in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Movement Research (NYC), Interdisciplinary Lab for Art, Nature and Dance (NYC), Lab for Independent Scholars (NYC), and Green Street Studios (MA). Awards include Jerome Foundation Travel Fund, Puffin Foundation, and the Somerville Artist Fellowship.
Click here to learn more about Karl.
This work involves performances choices based on sculptural restrictions and found sound. Conceptually, it is influenced by John Cage’s use of ‘chance operations’ and development of doctored instruments. Stephen Vitiello’s epic World Trade Center residency in 1999, touches on site-specificity aspects, turning incidental atmospheric noises into mesmerizing soundscapes that altered how surrounding environment was perceived. While Kant could entertain the fantasy of chimeras, he could not forsee that they would one day exist as objects of experience. Stelarc’s idiosyncratic performances which often involve robotics integrated with his body somehow harken to Sonic Animal’s physical play with questioning our technological facades. Tamara’s past work with rupturing audio/visual references crossed with her thematic roots based in balance within a modern world underpins her viewpoint into Sonic Animal. Karl is informed by his recent work on the Somatic Natural History Archive, his exploration of the life history embodiment of 10,000 plants and animals.
Sonic Animal is designed for a general public. Efforts will be made to collaborate with venues beyond traditional contemporary-art spaces in order to reach the general public. In particular, my collaborator is developing an interactive movement workshop for children ages of 7-12 that will take place as an accompanying educational component at select venues. We believe music and dance audiences will be particularly drawn to the performative elements, while visual arts audiences we will be attracted to the wearable sculptures themselves and the conceptual framework of the project.



Please visit again soon for more information on the development of Sonic Animal…