Sound as a Sculptural Medium

An EH cross-listed class, Spring 2020

Sound Offerings: Sculptures for Headphones

“Sound as a Sculptural Medium” is an upper level, cross-listed course, initiated in 2016, as part of the Experimental Humanities Sound Cluster at Bard College.  The course merges faculty, ideas and resources from the Studio Arts, Electronic Music and Experimental Humanities departments. In our course, students create sculptures, installations and performances using acoustic, electric, analog and digital sound technologies. The projects included in these podcasts are from our Spring, 2020 class.

The Sound Offering projects came from necessity in a particular moment. Faced with the reality of COVID-19, we had to vacate campus, self-isolate, and move to remote learning within a few days notice. This was quite a challenge for a Sound Sculpture class.  While a week before we had been making architectural sound installations and hand made instruments in a large workspace, now, students were scattered geographically, in domestic spaces, and had little or no access to equipment and materials. And, we were in the midst of a pandemic, thrust into isolation and anxious uncertainty.

Sound sculpture became sculptural sound. Or as one student, Loren Ames, phrased it  “sculpture for headphones”.  As we made these pieces out of necessity, we also asked the students what they thought was necessary. How can we speak to or from this moment? What can we offer with what we make right now?

We curated the projects into three groups: Isolation and Interior, Landscape, and Living the Machine.  Each instructor chose one group to introduce. The students will briefly introduce their own work before it plays. Some students made multimedia works or performances that do not lend themselves to podcast format. These can be viewed here as well.

Julianne Swartz, Matthew Sargent, Co-Instructors and Andrew Lee, MFA Teaching Fellow.

Gallery Work

Anaka Marie Wetch

Weightier Crystalline


Eli Weinstein


a collective audio collage for laptop through Zoom

Josie Cotton

Texts from Dad

Eavan Burke

Walk Simulator.


Episode 3: Interior Space

Introduction by Julianne Swartz

Student work:
Josie Cotton, Monday
Maeve Schallert, immediacy
Siena Sherer, Commencement
Maddy Buzbee, Homesound
Will Hunt, Untitled

Episode 4: Living with the Machine

Introduction by Matthew Sargent

Student work:
Jacob McConnaughy, Untitled
Loren Ames, Inside Phrases (Sculpture for Headphones)
Jess Belardi, Feedback Ritual
Ezra Kahn, Basic Sonar

Episode 5: Landscapes

Introduction by Andrew Lee

Student work:
Will Santora,Walking the Rectangle
Clay Hillenburg, Rosenscape