Launch: Constructing a River


Optophono is thrilled to announce the launch of 'Constructing a River' by Matilde Meireles and Chrysoula Draraki. The project, which is published as a book, a set of postcards, and audio recordings, explores the construction of the River Lagan in Belfast. For the launch event the artists have invited Paul Stapleton to improvise to Matilde Meireles' 'Constructing a River' composition with his custom-made metallic Tromba Marina. The location of the event, the highly resonant Lagan Weir, offers a unique experience.

Please note: the Lagan Weir is normally closed to the public, and tickets are very limited (only 30 seats). We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. Ticket information in event page.



The Constructing a River project page will be published on Optophono on 29 September.

OAZE in the press

OAZE, an interactive sound map of an imaginary island by Una Lee, has been receiving some well-deserved love in the international press.

Check out these features on: The Island Review (UK), Artwort (Italy), Gooood (China), and Creative Boom (UK). 


What gave you the idea to create OĀZE?

It all began with sound maps. Since I learned of their existence, I always wanted one of my own. They reveal interesting connections between geography and the sound of places, letting us listen in and imagine what it is like to be there. They let us daydream - what a lovely thing.

Yet as the dreamer I am, being tied to one real region – be it a small town or the whole globe – seemed limiting. I also felt that something was missing in the sound maps I was listening to, which after a considerable amount of reflection on my part turned out to be the aspect of time.

Most sound maps hail from one particular time, which could potentially lead to the misunderstanding that the recording should represent that specific place forever. But for me soundscapes are absolutely ephemeral, fluid and evanescent.

For OĀZE I went around the subject by integrating the passage of time within a fixed visual topography, and blending in the life story of a person through the introduction of one fragment or chapter at each time and place.

The island stands for an entity that is whole on its own and self-sufficient; an independent piece of land holding a person’s entire life, like memories are contained within a body, and sound recordings in a sound map. This is also why I wanted the work to be download-based as opposed to an online map, so that it can exist in its own terms as an absolute thing. 


 An installation view of OAZE at the ' Territoires Familiers  ?'  exhibit in Paris, April 2018. Photo by Huayra Llanque. ©2018

An installation view of OAZE at the 'Territoires Familiers?' exhibit in Paris, April 2018. Photo by Huayra Llanque. ©2018

Optophono projects exhibited at Espace Niemeyer in Paris

The exhibition 'Territoires Familiers?', curated by Huayra Llanque at Espace Niemeyer in Paris, will feature Optophono projects by the artists Matilde Meireles and Una Lee. The exhibition will run from 10-27 April 2018.

Espace Niemeyer, a National Heritage site designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, holds the distinction of being the Paris HQ of the Parti communiste française.


Llanque writes of the exhibition:

When in 1999 the artist Mona Hatoum created the installation Home, she questioned everyday space, and placed us between intimacy and geopolitical situation. Kitchen utensils made of metal, arranged on a worktop, become the conductive elements of an electrical circuit. This one draws a palpable demarcation line and gives a familiar universe a threatening character. From this everyday image, broader questions are involved.

Today, this installation is the trigger for a conversation imagined between graphic works, or sound, photographs, sculptures, on the occasion of the exhibition Familiar Territories? , at the Espace Niemeyer. Usual objects or familiar images constitute a universe and sometimes structure our places of life. Repeated gestures draw in their own way playgrounds or territories. The exhibition proposes to look at artistic practices that question these familiar terrains, through different media. The works take place inside the Espace Niemeyer, which houses meeting places, spaces for passage and exchange.

Marked by a singular architecture and history, Espace Niemeyer is located at Place du Colonel Fabien, at the junction of several neighborhoods in eastern Paris. Many people rub shoulders daily with the building, known in particular for its white dome that rises from the ground and awakens the imaginary. The exhibition Familiar territories? proposes an exploration inside the building where the curved walls, the inclined planes, the sloping ground jostle our landmarks.


Optophono at V&A: Digital Design Weekend 2017

Optophono is proud to take part in the 2017 Digital Design Weekend at the V&A Museum in London. We will be showing projects by:

Una Lee: OAZE (2017) interactive sound map

Helena Hamilton: Butterflies (2017) for overhead projector and electronics

Pasquale Totaro: Pyramid Synth (2017): the snythesizer that turns objects into sound

 Pyramid Synth (2017) by Pasquale Totaro. The synthesizer that turns objects into sound.

Pyramid Synth (2017) by Pasquale Totaro. The synthesizer that turns objects into sound.

Gascia Ouzounian, Christopher Haworth and Julian Stein: Long For This World (2013): create your own music for sleeping

Peter Bennett, Christopher Haworth and Gascia Ouzounian: various apps from our AHRC-funded "musical selfies" project Pet Sounds (2016)

 Screenshot from OĀZE (2017) interactive sound map by Una Lee.

Screenshot from OĀZE (2017) interactive sound map by Una Lee.

Where to find us at the V&A:

Seminar Room 5, Learning Centre, Victoria & Albert Museum

10 AM-5.30 PM, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 2017.

Free entry.

We are grateful to the V&A and to the AHRC Digital Transformations Scheme for their support of this project.