Antoine Bertin – MA Sound Arts

Antoine Bertin studied MA Sound Arts at London College of Communication and is currently an artist in residence with the Forestry Commission England and Editor of online magazine Soundry.

What was it like studying MA Sound Arts at LCC?

I graduated from MA Sound Arts in 2010. The course was a source of inspiration, a time of experimentation and a wonderful place for discussion. I had studied physics and sound engineering for 5 years and felt rather frustrated from the fact my approach to the subjects of sound and listening lacked personality and creativity. The MA gave the confidence and tools to develop my own artistic practice.

You are an artist in residence with Forestry Commission England and Sound and Music as part of an 18 month program called Embedded. What exactly have you been working on?

Embedded is a professional development program for composers and artists working with sound. It's been a remarkably open research opportunity where I had the time and the infinity of forest space to develop new ideas, methods and tools. So I have been working on myself really, and learning so much from the people working in both organisations. John Wynne and Angus Carlyle from the UAL centre for Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRISAP) are mentoring the residency: It's a dream program to travel from university into building an artist career. 

Practically speaking, I am currently working with the help of wildlife rangers and astronomers on bringing together into an audio narrative two polar opposite sounds: the sound being transmitted from a microphone I have not yet installed on a fox, and the sound sent by Voyager 1 from the edge of our solar system. I am developing some kind of fictional audio guide visitors of forests will be able to download or stream and listen to in the woods. At night.

You are the editor of an online magazine called Soundry. How did Soundry approach you and what does the job consist in exactly?

Soundry presents itself as an online magazine and functions similarly to an arts organisation. Our main source of funding is by a startup company, which develops new audio technologies. My job is to invite creative people from all kinds of disciplines to develop new work involving these prototype tools, and generate discussion between artists, designers and engineers around the subject of listening. Writing about work that we love is also a way of creating context and generating an audience around our subject of interest.

As an artist I am very interested in our relationship to technology and the ways in which it shapes our collective imaginary. I used to run a live radio show on NTS radio with a team of friends, where we would use imaginary gadgets to create audio stories. I think that's what triggered the initial discussion with the people I am now working with. It is very exciting to be developing projects through which technical and creative people can imagine together the creative tools of tomorrow. Both the industry and artists have a lot to gain through this exchange.

I also run a workshop for the MA sound art at LCC in the context of Soundry, the idea of which is exactly that: to invite the students to test their listening and artistic practices outside of the arts context.

Links:

View Antoine’s portfolio

Sound and Music projects

Find out more about the Forestry Commission England

NTS radio