Soundwalking and field recording practices

Soundwalking - an aesthetic practice combining, in various proportions and to various extents, exploratory techniques of listening, walking, and field recording - has been adopted as a vehicle not only for doing research in various disciplines and fields but also communicating research outcomes to diverse audiences.

By setting its point of departure in the arts, this project offers a historical and discursive tracing of the concept along with a series of practical soundwalking initiatives and exercises that are developed, reflected on, and analyzed from within the process of their composition. In terms of methodology, the study draws on historical research methods, ethnographic as well as artistic, practice-based approaches. Besides informing the academic discourse, the project simultaneously reaches a larger audience through its experiential approach to soundwalking as an aesthetic practice enabling critical and reflective listening positions towards the established ways of perceiving, knowing, and inhabiting the world.

This international postdoc project is funded by Vetenskapsrådet.

Artist, designer, researcher and soundwalker

Jacek Smolicki  is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, researcher, and soundwalker interested in techniques of attending to (as in paying attention) and recording (as in calling to mind and heart) human and other-than-human realms, events, and existences. Besides working with existing documents, archives and heritage, Smolicki develops alternative modes of sensing, recording, para-archiving, and mediating stories and signals from various sites, scales, and temporalities. His work is manifested through soundwalks, soundscape compositions, site-responsive performances, experimental para-archives, audio-visual installations, and diverse forms of writing. 

He has exhibited, presented his works, performed, soundwalked, and gave workshops internationally (e.g. Kraków, Madrid, Moscow, Helsinki, Stockholm, San Francisco, Budapest, Vienna, Sarajevo, Oxford, Vancouver). In 2017 he completed his PhD from the School of Arts and Communication at Malmö University where he was a member of the Living Archives, a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council. 

Between 2020-2023 Smolicki pursues an international postdoc funded by the Swedish Research Council. His research explores the history and prospects of field recording and soundwalking practices from the perspective of arts, environmental humanities, and media archaeology.

He is also an associate scholar at the Informatics and Media Hub for Digital Existence at Uppsala University. From January 2020 he is a member of BioMe, a research project that investigates ethical implications of AI technologies on everyday life realms. Smolicki explores sonic capture cultures and the impact of AI technologies on human voice. He is a co-founder of Walking Festival of Sound, a transdisciplinary and nomadic event exploring the critical and reflective role of walking through and listening to our everyday surroundings. 


Publications Show/Hide content

Smolicki, Jacek. (forthcoming 2021). Intertidal Room. A Soundwalk through Timescapes of Vancouver's Coastline, BC Studies, The British Columbian Quarterly, No. 210, Summer 2021.

Smolicki, Jacek. 2021. Soundscapes as Archives. Traces and Absences of the Aural Past in Vancouver, Seismograf Peer, a peer-reviewed platform for contemporary music and sound art

Smolicki, Jacek. 2021. Minuting. Rethinking the Ordinary Through the Ritual of Transversal Listening, VIS - Nordic Journal for Artistic Research, Issue 5

Smolicki, Jacek. 2019. Czy staliƛmy sie juz postcyfrowi? ("Have We Become Post-Digital Yet?"), in FORMY, an online, peer-reviewed journal published by Design Department of Krakow Fine Art Academy

Smolicki, Jacek. 2019. Eyes that Listen, Ears that See. The Para-Archive of Quivering Stillness, in Soundsites. Experiments in Sound and Place, Ch.Eppley and Å.Stjerna, [Eds.], PAD, Public Art Dialogue journal, Abingdon: Taylor &Francis

Smolicki, Jacek. 2019. Notes on Post-Digital Archives, in Representations and Reconfigurations of the Digital in Swedish Literature and Art, 1950-2010, Linköping University, online publication

Smolicki, Jacek. 2018. You Press the Button, We Do the Rest. Personal Archiving in Capture Culture, in Towards a Philosophy of the Digital, A. Romele and E. Terrone (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan

Smolicki, Jacek. 2017. Para-archives: Rethinking Personal Archiving Practices in the Times of Capture Culture, doctoral dissertation, Malmö University, Sweden

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