Practice as Research: Linda O Keeffe


  • 1.30pm

  • Edinburgh College of Art, Main Building, West Court
    74 Lauriston Place
    Edinburgh
    EH3 9DF

Linda O Keeffe works primarily with the medium of sound both as a physical and immaterial object. Her practice is shaped by an engagement with social, ecological and sensory concerns. In this talk on her practice O Keeffe will focus on her three most recent projects.

Hybrid Soundscape I-IV

Hybrid Soundscapes is a practice led research project focused on the socio-economic and cultural impact of new renewable energy infrastructures on rural communities and small towns and villages. To date this research has been self funded. Though a number of outputs of this work have featured in commissioned exhibitions, performances and workshops. I have spent four years examining one rural community in the Terra Alta Region of Norther Spain, some time in China, Iceland and the Barrow in Furness region. I am now seeking research partners towards developing a larger research question, but also, looking to begin a conversation with interested artists/academics on developing innovative methodologies to examine environmental technological infrastructures and their potential impact on local community economic and socio-cultural practices.

Women in Sound

WISWOS was established in 2015 as an international network whose primary goals were to explore the growing gender gap in women's participation in the fields of creative sound and technology programs in education. Our aims are to develop mentoring programs and workshops for young girls to learn about sonic arts and technology and to generate data on this subject for a larger research project. WISWOS to date has organised a number of symposiums, concerts and developed the loanable schools toolkit, Research in a Box: Activating Women in Sound. In July of 2018 I travelled to Brazil to spend 7 weeks collecting data on women's participation in the sonic arts and music technology, work with young school girls, interview key feminist figures in this area, and link with new network partners. During that time I developed a new body of collaborative art work shaped by a feminist approach to space and sound.

Asian Flat Pack Cities and their Soundscapes: The Mall city of Sunway

This is a new collaborative arts research project located in Sunway City, Malaysia. The work is at the very early stages but it is currently focused on  the impact of culture and religion on open spaces and their seemingly random but community based soundscapes, versus the interior programmatic soundscapes of newly built Mall cities. It also explores ideas about safe soundscapes/places and unsafe soundscape places, connected also to older city spaces and newly built and controlled city spaces. The rhythms of the city soundscapes, the new and older communities, the emergence of commodified spaces and their controlled sound systems, the mix of cultural music in public open markets in Kuala Lumper and the religious calls to prayer and singing vendors will be some of the themes explored in this sonic piece.