Nowhere in the Desert arose from Thulin’s discovery of an accidental collection of over 70 audio files appearing at a remote point in the Libyan desert in the sound map view of the Freesound audio-sharing platform. The sounds range from synthesizer drones to seaside field recordings, to coffee pot sound effects and spoken word radio excerpts—none of which bear any obvious connection to the location where they appear on the map. Nowhere in the Desert (re)composes the audio files through processes of fragmentation and redistribution based on metadata, research on the Libyan desert, and responses to questions the artist posed to the contributors of the files revealing that the sounds were actually produced in New York City, Pretoria, Thunder Bay, Ciudad del Este, and other locations. The work creates a desert soundscape from the chance intersection of these places, questioning the relationship between physical place and its digital representation, and resonating with lost and impossible places, such as mythic oases and mirages.
Samuel Thulin is an artist and researcher working at the intersection of mobilities research, communication and media studies, and sound studies. Originally from Nortondale, New Brunswick, he currently lives in Montreal and holds an appointment as Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University’s Department of Communication Studies and Milieux Institute, working in the Participatory Media Cluster. His practices of research and making investigate how relationships to place, space, and location are entangled with multiple (im)mobilities and with developments in mobile communication technology. In his publications and sound-based artworks he has explored: mobile listening and mobile audio production; confluences of cartography and auditory culture; locative media and contested senses of place; the situatedness of mobile practices; and creative and emergent methodologies.
The artist acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
- Samuel Thulin
JANUARY 10 TO FEBRUARY 16, 2019
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 8PM
ARTISTS TALK /
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 3PM