Vicky Clarke

Convention House

Vicky Clarke is a sound and electronic media artist from Manchester, UK. Working with sound sculpture, DIY electronics and human-machine systems, she explores our relationship to technology through sonic materiality.

Winner of the Oram Award 2020, for the last two years she has been artist in residence at NOVARS, University of Manchester exploring musique concrete and machine learning in collaboration with PRiSM, Royal Northern College of Music.

This residency built on her AI research trip as part of UK-RUSSIA Year of Music and project ‘MATERIALITY’ exploring sound sculpture to interface the physical and digital, collaborating with the National Graphene Institute. Her work has featured on SONIC FUTURES: How Technology is Guiding Electronic Music (British Council) and FACT magazine. She has also performed and exhibited with National Science & Media Museum, MUTEK and CTM. Vicky is an AMPLIFY DAI artist, an international network promoting women in sound and digital arts, co-director of Noise Orchestra promoting DIY music culture and demystifying tech and associate artist at FutureEverything.

Speaking to Vicky about her residency at Convention House, she said:

“For the Convention House residency I will undertake research for my project ‘Circular Sferics’. This will explore the duality of our technologies being both of the earth and used as detection devices for measuring, through creating a circular technological approach using sound and sculptural process. I will be using DIY environmental sensing technologies to record sounds of the natural environment using self built radio antennae, and my AURA MACHINE VLF and EMF detector circuits. 

The recordings will focus on sferics (atmospherics), the natural electrical phenomena detected by radio antennae, which will be analysed as data to develop a methodology of visualising these as 3D geometries. Working at Convention House I will learn new skills in 3D ceramic printing and 3D scanning to create new sculptural objects  – made out of clay – completing the circle as new material forms. 

I am looking forward to working with clay, the original technological material and representing unseen sferic phenomena as physical matter. The cyclical format of the residency explores themes around the circular economy, deep time and technological e-waste through sonic materiality. I will also be running an electronics workshop, developing my knowledge around environmental sculpture through mentoring and I look forward to getting involved and contributing to the Convention House community.

The residency appealed to me due to the exciting combination of the environmental and technological and the strong community building aspect of Convention House. The balance of building practical skills in 3D ceramic printing and developing a critical focus around environmental sculptural technology chimed with my interests and where I want to grow artistically”.