The audible space
The Dutch sound artist Cilia Erens pioneered the binaural sound walk since 1987. In her soundwalks, sound panoramas and ‘soundscapes’, she uses largely unmixed everyday sounds. In the absence of words, her work reaches deeper layers; ‘audible space’ is her speciality.
Listening to Erens’ compositions always creates a new reality within existing realms, a form of ‘augmented reality’.
Erens exlusively uses binaural field recordings (in ear or dummy head), a technique which enables us to experience the sound environment as space. To her the world is a series of sound spaces to be explored, each with their own identities which will only become manifest when sound and sight are no longer in sync. Her approach is interdisciplinary.
Urbanisation and (collective) silence are recurring themes in her work. One of her best-known works is ‘Silencer’, a sound show about the stillness of silence (2005), for which she did research on the concept of ‘collective silences’ a.o. in Japan and Austria.
‘There is nothing to tell me’, a sound poem about World War One, is her first interactive GPS soundwalk (2015).
‘Time Lapse China’ is her most recent sound research on the Chinese globalisation, on how present-day urban China has evolved in the 29 years that have passed since she recorded binaural sound (on cassettes) in the cities she visited for her first sound walk ‘ China Daily’ (1987).
2015 was the year of the Voordekunst- crowdfunding and of her research in the Chinese cities where she had made her recordings in 1986.
2016 was the year of lectures, sound walks and workshops about the sonic aspects of China’s immense globalization.
2017 was the year of the practice of how to develop an exhibition-context for ‘Time Lapse China’ on loudspeakers and loudspeaker-systems, due to the support of the AFK (The Amsterdam Fund for The Arts) as well as Steim (Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music), where she got an Artist in residency. Bloomline Studio sponsored her binaural research with the use of experimental ‘Omniwave loudspeakers.
2018 Contribution to The Great Netherlands Art Calendar NL18 about China’s audible globalization.
The artist regularly works as a guest lecturer at institutes such as EPAS, St. Joost Art Academy and The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Since 2002 she works on that basis at The Netherlands Film and Television Academy (Nederlandse Film- en Televisie Academie).
Cilia Erens lives and works in Amsterdam.