Sound artist Philip Samartzis will join us this Autumn to develop a project with the Foundation in collaboration with the Valais School of Art (EDHEA) around sound and the subterranean spaces and infrastructure embedded inside the landscape ecology of Valais, Switzerland.

The project will encompass various elements such as glacio-hydrological systems, nuclear shelters, life support systems, and concealed infrastructure. Recordings will convey the civic and political significance of these subterranean locations, focusing on their spatial, acoustic, and material attributes. The project addresses underlying issues and tensions within global security and climate change discussions and is an extension of the on-going research by Samartzis, who delves into the impact of anthropogenic activity on cold climate ecologies and their communities.

Philip Samartzis is a sound artist, curator and researcher investigating the social and environmental conditions informing remote wilderness regions and their communities. The sound recordings he makes deploying advanced audio technologies are used within teaching, exhibition, broadcast and publication to demonstrate the transformative effects of climate change within a contemporary art context.

Samartzis is a three-time recipient of the Australian Antarctic Territory Fellowship which he is using to document the effects of extreme climate and weather events, undertaking the most comprehensive sound study ever produced of the ice continent spanning 15 years. He has presented various iterations of his practice led research in France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, NZ, UK and US. His book AntarcticaAn Absent Presence (2016) is included in curricula focusing on soundscape studies and geohumanities offered by London College of Communication, Musashino Art University, Durham University, the University of Syracuse, and the Zurich University of the Arts. His high alpine research has been featured in DW Radio, Swiss Info and Le Temps news services and exhibited in China and Japan (2019) and Switzerland (2021). It also featured in an exhibition titled Sampling the Future (2021) that was held at the NGV Australia. In recognition of the innovation of his research, he was selected by Australia Post to appear on the $2.20 postage stamp commemorating the Australian Antarctic Territory Arts Fellowship.

In 2019, Philip Samartzis was awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship to undertake research at the High Altitude Research Centre at Jungfraujoch. This is the first time either organisation has supported an artist – researcher within their respective programs evidencing a growing awareness of the capacity of art to advocate for rarefied and endangered ecologies.

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