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LCC Associate Lecturer for BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design at Tate Britain

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listening statue resized
Written by
Helen Carney
Published date
18 February 2015

Iris Garrelfs, a PhD student and Associate Lecturer on LCC’s BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design course, recently held a week-long project at Tate Britain in which she used visitors’ personal objects and stories to create a sound installation.

Part of a Radio City residency at the gallery, ‘Listening Room’ encouraged adults and children to bring along objects and stories around the theme of hearing and listening from 2-6 February 2015.

Iris recorded the stories from Monday to Wednesday, edited the audio recordings on Thursday and created a sound installation for four channels and objects for everyone’s listening pleasure on the Friday.

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Some of the objects contributed by the public

The conversations between Iris and gallery visitors often expanded into very personal areas, focusing on childhood experiences or caring for relatives, while others were responses to exploring the sonic environment of the Tate.

Iris explains: “I was struck by the generosity of everyone, as people contributed so freely even very personal experiences.

“What came out of it for me was a kind of democratisation that happened through the stories – artists next to children, local residents next to Italian tourists. But there was also a blurring between museum visitors and myself: as I had invited people into the Listening Room, I also became a listener.”

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Exploring the objects used in ‘Listening Room’

A stereo version of the recording used in the installation was broadcast on Resonance FM and is archived here.

Read more about ‘Listening Room’ on Iris’s website

Read more about BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design