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Dawn Scarfe

Dawn Scarfe

Bereich: Klangkunst

© Dawn Scarfe

© Dawn Scarfe

© Dawn Scarfe

© Dawn Scarfe

Key Facts







Empfehlende Institution



August 2010 - August 2010

Dawn Scarfe is an artist and researcher. Her work uses simple tools and methods in order to heighten the senses, and to reflect on how we engage them. It proposes that perception itself can be a creative activity. Dawn has recently exhibited at La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain; Bios, Athens, Greece; Tate Britain and 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK. She is an AHRC award holder and PhD candidate in Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

Born 1980 in Darlington, England, lives in London, UK

Awards / residencies
2010    Artist in residence, quartier21, MQ Vienna, Austria, invited by TONSPUR (forthcoming)
2009-10  Erasmus mobility grant, KDM, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria
2007-10  AHRC research grant, MPhil/PhD Composition, Goldsmiths University of London, UK
2005  AHRC research grant, MMus Composition, Goldsmiths University of London, UK
2005  Artist in residence, Ovada, Oxford, UK

2010  (Title t.b.c),TONSPUR 36’, TONSPUR passage, MQ Vienna, Austria (forthcoming)
2010  Tree Music, ‘ARTe SONoro’, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain
2010  Through the Listening Glasses, ‘Electronic Music Studios Present…’ The Shunt, London, UK
2010  Miss Ford’s Instructions, ‘Rundgang’, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria
2009  Listening Glasses, ‘The Grand Plasto-Baader-Books’, KALEID Editions, London, UK
2009  Listening Glasses, ‘Sound Escapes’, curated by ELECTRA, Space Studios, London, UK
2009  Air Traffic, ‘Art and Soundscapes…’ Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
2008  Lenses, ‘Sound:Space’, South Hill Park, Bracknell, UK
2008  Lenses, ‘Essense’, Beldam Gallery, London, UK
2008  Lenses, ‘Sonic Arts Expo’, Lighthouse Media Centre, Brighton, UK
2008  Lenses, ‘Sightsonic’ International Festival of Visual Arts, York, UK
2007  Etchings ‘Noufaux Riche’, Videotage, Hong Kong, China
2007  Etchings, ‘Futuresonic’, Contact theatre, Manchester, UK
2007  Tree Music, ‘Sound:Space’, South Hill Park, Bracknell, UK
2006  Untitled, ‘Wormhole Saloon’, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
2006  Tree Music, The Quad, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
2003  Emersion, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, UK
2003  Etchings, ‘Hungry…’ X-change Gallery, Oxford, UK

Live performances
2009  Carillon (with Mel Gough), ‘Re-think Re-use Re-make’, Bios, Athens, Greece
2009  Carillon (with Mel Gough), Café Oto, London, UK
2008  Carillon + Lenses Live (with Mel Gough and Jane Dickson), 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK
2007  Rounds (with Jem Finer, Dominic Lash, Jonny McHugh), ‘PL:ay’, Smeaton’s Lighthouse, Plymouth, UK
2005  Untitled  (with Jem Finer), ‘Six Sites for Sound’, Tate Britain, London
2005  Rounds (with Malcolm Atkins and Dominic Lash), Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford, UK
2002  You Are Here (with Jane Ricketts), ‘Vain Live Art’, various locations, Oxford, UK

Lectures / workshops
2010  Through the Listening Glasses, ‘Sound Acts’, University of Aarhus, Denmark (forthcoming)
2009  Sounding Bodies, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria
2008   Exhibition tour: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK
2008  Aural Architectures, ‘Voices and Noises’, Institute for Art Research, University of Helsinki, Finland
2007  Exploring sound, ‘For You Only You’, Ruskin Laboratory at St Ebbe’s Primary School, Oxford, UK
2006  Introduction toHer Noise Documentary, ‘Sound festival’, Belmont Picturehouse, Aberdeen, UK
2006  Aural Architectures, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
2005  Exhibition tour: Angela Bulloch, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK
2005  Science of Sound (with Max Eastley), Ovada, Oxford, UK

2010  Listening Glasses, ‘Performance Research’, Vol. 15, No.3, (Routledge) (forthcoming)
2009  ‘On the Practical use ofListening Glasses…’ (self-published)


Dawn Scarfe is an artist based in London, UK. Her work uses simple tools and methods in order to heighten the senses, and to reflect on how we engage them. The main focus of her current practice is the act of listening, and the acoustic phenomena of ‘sympathetic resonance’. This term describes a process whereby a body picks up ambient vibrations and re-sounds them. The fact that it is called ‘sympathetic’ implies a shared feeling between sound and the resonating body. Her work utilizes the capacity of resonant sound to animate: for example recording the sound of wine glasses, then playing the sound back into them, causing them to re-sound in her ‘Lenses’ (2008) installation, or inviting gallery visitors to use prosthetic acoustic tools to find resonant tones in the sound of an exhibition space, with the ‘Listening Glasses’ installation for 'Sound Escapes' (2009), commissioned by ELECTRA.

Since 2007 Dawn has held an AHRC award for PhD studies in Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. From October 2009 to January 2010 she was the recipient of an Erasmus mobility grant, which enabled her to study with Constanze Ruhm at Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria. She has been invited by TONSPUR (curated by Georg Weckwerth) to be artist in residence this August at quartier21, MQ, and will create a new work for the TONSPUR passage, opening on 22nd August, 5pm. This will be an 8 channel piece developing her recent work with glasses. It will explore the process of resonance as metaphor for the act of sensation itself.

In September she will be presenting a paper on her ‘Listening Glasses’ work at the ‘Sound Acts’ conference, University of Aarhus, Denmark, and her writing will be published in the ‘On Listening’ edition of Performance Research (Routledge). Her Lenses installation will be shown at ‘TONSPUR expanded III’ from Dec-Feb (opening Dec 10th) at freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL, curated by Georg Weckwerth.


My residence at MQ has really been great. Making a new piece for the TONSPUR_passage has been a wonderful opportunity for me, and gives me the chance to show my artwork and research to new audiences. Through making the piece I discovered new possibilities for distributing sound over multiple speakers using a simple grid system in Audiomulch, a technique I would like to use again. I also had the time to make contact with two Austrian musicians who I would like to collaborate with in the future. I saw a really memorable concert by them in Burgenland.

The range of exhibitions and screenings at MQ this August was really excellent. I particularly enjoyed ‘The Moderns’ at MUMOK. Helmholtz Resonators featured in the programme, which I worked with in my piece. I hope some of the visitors to MQ might recognise the connection.

I have enjoyed meeting the other AiR’s, particularly Delphine Hermans and Bomi Ahn, we often talked together. The quartier21 and Security Point staff were always very helpful. The studio accommodation was perfect for my needs, the only thing that might make life a little easier would be a clothes rack/dryer.

I will be returning to Vienna in December to participate in the exhibition TONSPUR_expanded, and as a result of my time in residence, I am really looking forward to being back in the city.

Many thanks,

Dawn Scarfe
AiR TONSPUR, August 2010

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