Audio arts archive : from inventory space to imagined space

Farinati, Lucia (2020) Audio arts archive : from inventory space to imagined space. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Audio Arts (1973-2007) was established by artist William Furlong and curator Barry Barker in 1973 as a magazine of contemporary art on cassette tape. Focused on artists’ voices and sound works Audio Arts expanded the traditional scope of a printed magazine from the representation of visual art into an alternative art space in itself. This thesis addresses the complexities of Audio Arts through two strands of research. The first, The Inventory Space, traces the multifaceted history of the sound magazine by highlighting the relationship between the editorial, curatorial and artistic activity developed by Furlong and his collaborators. It also examines the relationship between the reorganisation of the Audio Arts Archive (since its acquisition in 2004 by Tate) and the way it was previously used creatively by Furlong in the production of new sound works. The Imagined Space elaborates a performative methodology through the curatorial project Activating the Audio Arts Archive. In collaboration with the Tate Archive I explored how listening to (and within) the archive contributes to a dialogic methodology which puts the voices of former collaborators of Audio Arts centre stage. By imagining the life of the Audio Arts Archive beyond its inventory, I establish a creative space for a co-constructed historical narrative through the contribution of written texts, new conversations, recordings and performative acts. Structured in two parts, the thesis investigates the tension between inventory space and imagined space, the indexical and paradigmatic organisation of archival documents and its affective and performative activation. It comprises four written chapters, two audio chapters and the conclusion. The audio chapters include a body of new interviews I conducted with former collaborators of Audio Arts and four audio essays produced from the four public curatorial events. The research contributes to the field of art history, curatorial practice and sonic studies by providing a unified historical and performative methodology for understanding the complex legacy of Audio Arts. This legacy I conclude lies at the intersection of sound art and sculpture, critical and curatorial practice, and oral and aural art history.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page