Ernest seeks out and interviews independent thinkers, companies and individuals who make and do things that make a difference and bring colour to our city. We talk to the artists Jordan Edge who is organising Singing Sculpture Exhibition.
Who are you? What do you make or do?
Jordan Edge is a Contemporary Sound Artist & Experimental Composer from the UK. Edge’s practice communicates the act of listening over time, and listening as a process to develop greater understanding of our environmental and sonic surroundings. Edge experiments with industrial object, raw material & architecture to manipulate the medium through which sound travels, creating sound environments that explore the physical and psychological effects of noise on human experience. Edge was the recipient of the Seoul (South Korean) Award of Excellence for his latest large-scale installation work, ‘Acclimate’. Utilising self-built instruments, latex beds, industrial fans, metal housings and processed vocals, he conditions architectures with crushing rhythmic noise pierced with sublime minimalistic composed sequences.
I explore sonification of environmental change over time, through mediums of space, sound and sound object. Constructing organic installation work develops altered perceptions of processes in space, creating sonic environments with durational aspects. Environments that develop regarding the controlled or uncontrolled conditional qualities of an existing structure.
We are constantly in demand of personal comfort; the right space, noise level, temperature, air-flow, humidity in our inhabited buildings, representing this through various audio-visual feedback systems causes non-identical perceptions of our ever conditioned environment. By altering natural qualities and acoustics of space I portray heightened perceptions of sonic architectures. My work is an experience and a perception of a process in time and in space.
Why do you do this?
To develop listening & multidisciplinary arts practice within a broader context for the public and practice sound as my primary artistic medium. I feel that my work provokes new ways of perceiving everyday spaces and objects. It’s important to create works that challenge the experiencer and show how we can perceive situations from varied angles. Noise & ambience concerns within public architectures need to be provoked within a wider audience so acoustic design can carry more importance when it comes to designing spaces. I feel that my sound installation work provokes the experiencer to open their mind to the concept of environmental noise, ambience and how it effects humans on a day to day basis. It’s easier for the public to engage within art that suggests these ideologies and get through to people. I am currently curating an exhibition called ‘Singing Sculptures’ at Cobalt Studios in Newcastle, showcasing aeolian art and outdoor sound installations working from natural energy, solar power etc. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of soundscape studies. The exhibition, performance and talk programme represents Sound Art, Acoustic Ecology, Heightened Soundscapes & Sound Awareness. The programme is to be experienced by all members of the public and any age range is welcomed. The outcome of this project is to educate the public on sound awareness and how we can shape our soundscape through creativity. The more people that are aware of these problems, the more thought is put into creative and artistic ways to design a newer sonic environment. 8 Sound Artists with varied backgrounds will each present an existing or site specific out door Sound Installation work alongside a talk and / or a performance relating to the specified topics at Cobalt Studios.
Where did you first get involved, where did the idea come from?
I have always been heavily interested in sound and music from a young age, but it wasn’t until i joined the Digital Music & Sound Arts course at Brighton University that i was introduced to Sound Art, i was enthralled by every part of Sound Art and it shaped my future heavily. I was quite unsatisfied by producing electronic music and being confined to studio spaces and bedroom studios. Sound art has a lot more thought behind it and brings forward a lot of elements to get creative with, the idea of creating experiences had me fascinated.
Give us an idea of the background detailed planning that goes with what you do?
In my final academic year an important part of my final research project was the documentation and artistic book, this was to cover every step of your process and research methodology. It included tonnes of elements including a back catalogue of works, fabrication, materials, aesthetic, technical drawings, academic texts etc. I am thorough when it comes to documenting work, organising research and defining my working methods, as a working Sound Artist i heavily document each installation i do representing concept, context and background. When I am planning an installation i have to think carefully about the architecture it’s situated in and how a sound structure / sculpture or object is going to work with the space. First of all I think of my idea and do 3D sketches to scale, then fabricate, experiment with sound and install the work in the most convenient and visually pleasing way. I’m used to handling delicate and intricate work, as i’ve mostly worked installing sound pieces it’s generally quite complex, for example loose and moving objects, interactive work, handling of expensive & fragile equipment, large mechanical objects, hanging of moving objects etc.
What does a typical day look like?
Applying to every opportunity or open call that you can within your artistic practice. Creative writing and constantly coming up with new ideas and project sketches. Networking and researching with other creatives to constantly develop your knowledge and practice. Attending events that you can gain experiences from and getting involved in any way you can. Sharing work and keeping in contact with your academic peers. Reaching out to artists doing work that is relevant to you and sharing discussions. Thinking about how to realise your ideas to their full potential and how they can benefit people experiencing them.
Who do you like working with?
I like to work with anyone that has a good work ethic and brings a different element to a project, so the more varied the better. With a multidisciplinary skill set, you develop a range of interesting outcomes. For example, working with a sound artist, a creative coder and a design student would possibly turn out well because you have a broad range of skills to realise a project. Working with collaborators that are very open minded is important to me, so you can all accept and discuss individual ideas and work through them as equal peers. I always seek people that have ridiculously large intricate ideas because i like the challenge at first hand, this is how my thought process works, start big and then work down to something within your realistic set of boundaries.
What is the most important thing that you have learned?
Question every part of your artistic work and practice, why are you doing the work you are and what are the benefits for others experiencing your work.
How do you see your future?
Spreading the importance of sound art practice and developing sound awareness to a broader audience. Giving lectures, developing my academic practice, curating exhibitions, making new work and collaborating with other creatives.
Where can people find out more about what you do?
On my website www.jordanedge.co.uk.