[ISEA98] Panel: John Levack Drever – The Exploitation of ‘Tangible Ghosts’: Conjectures on Soundscape Recording and its Re-appropriation in Sound Art

Panel Statement

Panel: Work

This paper is born out of my experience as a sound artist and sound art consumer who engages in the procurance, application and exchange of soundscape recordings; an ambivalent engagement which is aesthetically rewarding yet on reflection deeply unsettling. The aim of this paper is to give some disclosure on why this apparently harmless procedure, ie. the routine of soundscape recording/sampling/abstracting (or ‘disembodying’), editing, retouching, processing, recontextualising…, may result in a durable confrontation with terror and disgust. In order to aid this endeavour – to verbalise a personal and intuitive response – I will be referring to writings on photography, taking the photograph as an analogy for the sonic record.  Also I will be dealing primarily with the recording and representation of human utterance in sound art, as it is the most recognisable and inherently the most intimate and familiar material to humans.

  • John Levack Drever (UK), Daftington College ofArts, Devon