Sensing Cities Ep. 12: a conversation with the creators of Love Box

Image courtesy of Sensing Cities

Image courtesy of Sensing Cities

In Episode 12,  I revisit an old recording made in 2010 during Conflux Festival in New York where I chatted with artists Sabine Gruffat and Bill Brown about Love Box, a participatory locative piece  based on a previous installment titled the Bike Box. The project focuses on the sexual politics of the East Village in Manhattan as the artists described. In our discussion we also talk among other topics about the challenges and possibilities of using such technologies for exploring the city. More like an informal conversation than an interview, the show also features sound-collages from samples of recordings and narratives featured in the projects.

The show will be broadcast on Friday 24th of January 2014 at 5:00pm to 5:30pm (repeated on Monday 27th at 1am) @ Resonance FM.

About the artists


B.1977, Bangkok, Thailand

Sabine Gruffat is a digital media artist living and working in North Carolina. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Currently Sabine is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Sabine’s films and videos have screened at festivals worldwide including the Image Forum Festival in Japan, the Split Film Festival in Croatia, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the PDX Film Festival in Portland OR, The Copenhagen International Film Festival, Migrating Forms in New York, The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and PS1/MOMA in New York.

Her photographs and installations have been shown at the Zolla Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Art In General, Devotion Gallery, PS1 Contemporary Art Museum, and Hudson Franklin in New York. Her artwork is represented by the Linz Gallery in Paris.

Currently Sabine is producing a feature documentary about grassroots movements that have sprung up as a result of the economic crisis in Spain. She is also developing a new feature film project about the uncertain future of several major public and land art sites.


B.1969, Cleveland, OH. USA

Bill Brown is a filmmaker, writer and artist who lives in Chapel Hill, NC. He received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is currently a Lecturing Fellow in the Arts of the Moving Image Program as Duke University. His films have appeared at film festivals, museums, and galleries worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center in New York, and the Viennale, Rotterdam, London, Sundance, and SXSW Film Festivals. His travel zine, Dream Whip, is distributed by AK Press.


Sensing Cities Ep. 11: a conversation with Mike Cooper

Image courtesy of Greg Clovelly

Image courtesy of Greg Clovelly

In Episode 11, I chat with lap steel guitarist and artist Mike Cooper about his Island project, departing from his project about the Chao Phraya River in the city of Bangkok to his residencies in Pulau Ubin (Singapore) and Lamma Island (Hong Kong). Our discussion takes the form of observations on walking, listening better, listening to the self, acoustic ecology, literature, chance, music and the exotic and how they all connect through the magic of storytelling and narrating.

The show will be broadcast on Friday 17th of January 2014 at 5:00pm to 5:30pm (repeated on Monday the 20th at 1am) @ Resonance FM.

About Mike Cooper

MIKE COOPER – plays lap steel guitar / electronics and sings. For the past 45 years he has been an international musical explorer pushing the boundaries of his music. Initially a folk-blues guitarist he is as responsible as anyone else — and more so than many — for ushering in the blues boom in the U.K. in the late ’60s.

With his roots lying in acoustic country blues he has, arguably, stretched the possibilities of the guitar even more than his better known contemporaries Davy Graham Bert Jansch John Renbourne etc. by pursuing it into the more avant-garde musical areas, also occupied by contemporary guitar innovators such as Elliott Sharp, Keith Rowe, Fred Frith and Marc Ribot, with an eclectic mix of the many styles he has practiced over the years. Ranging freely through his own idiosyncratic original songs,traditional country blues, folk, free improvisation, pop songs, exotica, electronic music, electro-acoustic music, and ‘sonic gestural’ playing utilising open tunings and extended guitar techniques.

He is also a film and video maker in his own right and his work, often featured in his live performances, was recently shown as “Some Sound Point Of View’ at GRIM in Marseille/France in a solo show of 12 films/video. Recently he premiered his first 40 minute feature video Hotel Hibiscus City, which he wrote, photographed, edited and scored music for.

He also composes and performs Live Music For Classic and Contemporary Silent Films. As well as presenting screening/concerts worldwide he has been a guest lecturer and given workshops at universities and colleges worldwide on scoring music for films, improvisation and songwriting.

In 2012 he was artist in residence for one month on Pulau Ubin near Singapore which culminated in “Walking In Ubin” – a sound map of the island, three short video films and a free download of his field recordings and 2013 he was artist in residence on Lamma Island near Hong Kong for three weeks.

* Mike Cooper will present an audiovisual installation titled  “A White Shadow In The South Seas” opening  February 1st in Rome at Teatro In Scatola. More info can be found here.  He is also releasing a new vinyl LP to coincide titled “New Globe Notes” on NoFi Records.

* His essay “Listening Better” also mentioned in the show can be found in the electronic anthology “What Matters Now? (What Can’t You Hear?)” published by NOCH in April 2013. Additional documentation and audiovisual pieces in relation to our discussion can be found on his vimeo page.

* The show features excerpts from the following recordings: Platform 3, Platform 5, Bangkok Soundscape 3 (Bangkok River Project), JalanBatuUbin-nightime (Walking in Ubin)

Sensing Cities Ep. 10: a conversation with CONA

Image courtesy of Cona

Image courtesy of Cona

Episode 10 of Sensing Cities discusses with Slovenian artists Irena Pivka and Brane Zorman, founders of CONA Institute of Contemporary Art about their locative audiopiece Walk the City, a project about the lesser known yet socially and politically important areas of the city of Ljubljana and the attempt to try and break the “bubble-ness” of modern city dwelling and commuting by slowing down the process through walking, exploring and listening. Walk the City invites its participants to start paying attention to the urban environment via its hidden narratives and soundscapes.

The show will be broadcast on Friday 10th of January 2014 at 5:00pm to 5:30pm (repeated on Monday the 13th at 1pm) @ Resonance FM.

About CONA

Irena Pivka, newmedia artist, architect, scenograher working as a freelance artist in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Brane Zorman is composer, intermedia artist, sound man-i-pul-ator, producer working as a freelance artist in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Irena Pivka and  Brane Zorman estabished CONA institute for procesing contemporary arts. Cona creates and promotes contemporary art works in relation to society, technology, space and sound. In 2008 Irena Pivka and Brane Zorman launched a platform radioCona that uses and reseasches the radio frequency space in art contexts. FM frequency is understood as public space, explored from different perspectives and mediated through artworks audiobooks, programming and exhibitions. radioCona is intervention into public space.

* CONA will be curating a new RadioCONA programme of  broadcasts as part of  REuseCITY:REuseRADIO. The schedule will run from the 14th to the 20th of January 2014. More info  can be found  here.


Sensing Cities Ep. 9: a conversation with Ian Rawes of The London Sound Survey

Image courtesy of  In the Dark Radio.

Image courtesy of In the Dark Radio.

I met Ian Rawes at Postman’s park in central London; a little oasis dedicated to people who died to save  the lives of others. His work for the extensive online resource of The London Sound Survey runs in parallel and as a flip side to his daytime job at the British Library Sound Archive. During our chat for Sensing Cities, Ian talks about escaping ones comfort zone in order to discover and explore a city, the effort to reconcile with its many materialities and particularities as well as more individual points of reference. He also discusses about the different sounds one can discover on the website and early influences such as music, literature or his work experience in the print and book making industry.

The show will be broadcast on Tuesday 24th of September 2013 at 7:30pm to 8pm @ Resonance FM.

Ian has released a limited edition vinyl record featuring a selection of recordings from the London Sound Survey out on vitelli records. We did cover this a bit in our discussion.  You can listen to samples off  These are The Good Times here.

About Ian Rawes

Ian Rawes began making field recordings of London life in 2008 after chance discoveries of work by other field recordists at the British Library Sound Archive, where he was employed as the Vaultkeeper. The London Sound Survey went online in May 2009, and since then it has amassed nearly 1,200 recordings of past and present-day London. The site has contributed to Radio 4 broadcasts and has been featured on World Service and BBC Radio London. A vinyl LP titled ‘These Are The Good Times’ has just been released on Vittelli Records.
Ian was born and brought up in central London. Since leaving school he has worked at various jobs including printer, graphic designer, venue manager, concert promoter, and in a sawmill. When he’s not recording, Ian likes listening to the radio. He now lives in south-east London.

Sensing Cities Ep. 8: a conversation with Joel Cahen of Interzone Theatre

Image courtesy of the Joel Cahen

Image courtesy of  Joel Cahen

Episode 8 invites audio and visual practitioner Joel Cahen to discuss Interzone Theatre a platform exploring the possibilities of locative media in experimental and interactive story telling about the city. Our conversation sheds light to the different aspects of the project such as the cities it takes place, the influences and inspirations behind it, the merging of psychogeography and psychoacoustics and the importance of sound as a creator of context in the audience’s experience of the environment.

The show will be broadcast on Tuesday 17th of September 2013 at 7:30pm to 8pm @ Resonance FM.

About Joel Cahen

Joel Cahen lives and works in London. He is an audio and visual practitioner and curator and organiser of experiential art events. He plays and curates at the underwater concert series Wet Sounds, which since 2008 has toured swimming pools nationwide and worldwide. He is co-founder of Scrap Club, the public destructivist activity. Since 2002 he has been organising multi-disciplinary art events in London. He has been playing abstract mash ups live regularly on Resonance 104.4fm London since 2005. His most recent project is the augmented reality theatre experience Interzone Theatre, which has been performed at (Zurich Belfast and London as of Aug 2013). Recently Joel has taken up a part time post at CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Art Practice) at University of the Arts London.

Sensing Cities Ep. 7: a conversation with Olivia Bellas of ScreenDeep

Image courtesy of Olivia Bellas

Image courtesy of Olivia Bellas

Episode 7 finds us in Limehouse, East London discussing with Olivia Bellas, founder of ScreenDeep, a collective aiming to reanimate urban spaces in creative and imaginative ways by inviting audience participation. What drew me to Olivia’s work was an audiowalk she has designed for Limehouse Town Hall, which is the second of a series of site specific projects entitled Memento.  The chat touches upon the importance of being in the space when exploring, discovering and narrating the hidden stories tied to it, her engagement with writing, film and sound, East London and the Docklands as well as her references and processes for the Memento: Limehouse Town Hall project.

The show will be broadcast on Tuesday 10th of September 2013 at 7:30pm to 8pm @ Resonance FM.

*You can experience the Limehouse Town Hall Project, during the  Open House Weekend (Sat 20th – Sun 21st of Sept):

– Limehouse Town Hall is located at 646 Commercial Road, closest station: Limehouse DLR
– Entry on Sat 20th and Sun 21st September for Open House Weekend is free
– Weekend includes open studios plus audio walk and no pre-booking is needed

About Olivia Bellas

Olivia Bellas is a multi-skilled creative practitioner with over ten years experience and broad knowledge of combined arts including theatre, installations, moving image art. She set up ScreenDeep, a home for a collective of artists specifically interested in developing site specific audio visual works.  She works as Creative Producer, Writer, Director and the most recent commission has been a soundpiece for Museum of London.  She is also director of The Original Ranch, a cultural consultancy which plans, fundraises, manages and evaluates projects and develops arts organisations. She is on the board for Alpha-ville – which explores the intersection between arts, technology and society.