[ISEA2017] Paper: Budhaditya Chattopadhyay — Decomposing Landscape: Hearing the Troubled Site


Keywords: Sound Art, Media Production, Landscape, Heritage, Ambience, Sitespecificity, ambient sound, Artistic Transformation, Mediation

Site-specific sound artworks are developed through location based listening and recordings made at specific places with a particular cultural heritage. The compositional strategy in these works relies on artistic intervention by intricate processes of field recording and processing of recognizable environmental sounds using multi-channel spatialization techniques. The artistic transformation renders these sounds into a blurry area between compositional abstraction and portrayal of their site-based narrative. The question is: how much spatial information is retained and how much abstraction is deployed in these works? In this proposed paper presentation, I discuss my recent multi-channel sound work: Decomposing Landscape (2015) to shed light on the specific approaches and the methodology of handling site-specific evidence in sound art production dealing with environmentally troubled heritage sites in India.

  • Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (Kolkata, India), Leiden University, The Netherlands. Chattopadhyay is an Indian-born media artist, researcher, writer and theorist. Chattopadhyay’s work questions the materiality, site-specificity and objecthood of sound, and addresses the aspects of contingency, contemplation, mindfulness and transcendence inherent in listening. His artistic practice intends to shift the emphasis from “object” to “situation” in the realm of sound. His soundworks are published by Gruenrekorder (Germany) and Touch (UK). Chattopadhyay is a Charles Wallace scholar, Prince Claus grantee and Falling Walls fellow, and has received several residencies and international awards, notably a First Prize in Computer and Electronic Music category of Computer Space festival 2014, Sofia, and an Honorary Mention at PRIX Ars Electronica 2011, Linz. Chattopadhyay graduated from the national film school of India specializing in sound, completed a Master of Arts degree in new media/sound art at Aarhus University, Denmark, and obtained a PhD degree in sound studies, involving artistic research from Leiden University, Netherlands.

Full text (PDF) p. 297-302