sound and electronic media artist
Vicky Clarke is a sound and electronic media artist from Manchester, UK. Working with sound sculpture, DIY electronics and human-machine systems, she explores our relationship to technology through sonic materiality, live audiovisual and browser-based artwork. Vicky won the Oram Award 2020 for innovation in sound and music technology from PRS Foundation and New BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Currently artist in residence with NOVARS, University of Manchester, she is working with systems for machine learning and musique concrete under the research question “How can concrete materials and neural networks project future sonic realities?” The residency is part of the European Art-Science-technology Network for Digital Creativity 2020 – 2021. She is part of UNSUPERVISED a brand new Machine Learning for Music working group with PRiSM (RNCM) and NOVARS aiming to develop knowledge and research in this field of electroacoustic music, sound art and ML computing across the two Manchester institutions. Her first piece in neural synthesis AURA MACHINE premiered at Future Music 3, Royal Northern College of Music in June 2021, a live show of this sonic AI piece is in development.
The residency runs in tandem with the development of SLEEPSTATESDOTNET, her ongoing research project into machine learning and musique concrete, exploring machine addiction, sleep territories and sonic algorithmic control. The project builds upon AURAMACHINE research into ML & Music through UK-Russia Year of Music, British Council in Moscow and St Petersburg to collaborate with artists and technologists, an ‘AI and neural networks’ course with KIM, University of Karlsruhe and exhibited SleepStates part one an audiovisual piece at DISTANT ARCADES, MUTEK’s hybrid edition.
Her project ‘MATERIALITY’ (ACE funded) explored sound sculpture as a medium to interface the physical and digital in music making, creating a new performance system incorporating tactile acoustic materials (inc. steel sound sculptures and industrial musique concrete recordings) with live electronic music performance forms. Inspired by constructivism, signal transmission and musique concrete; she explores the form and function of materials, uncovering patterns & properties as sound sources, systems and interfaces. Vicky collaborated with researchers at the National Graphene Institute to develop a conductive graphene music interface for Ableton, this work was featured on Sound and Music’s Composer-Curator series and at Music Tech Fest, Stockholm.
Interested in our relationship to machines and materials and how these become manifest sonically, gesturally and experientially within performance, her work has featured in documentaries ‘SONIC FUTURES: How technology is guiding electronic music’ from British Council and FACT magazine’s and Artist DIY for FACTmag’s online artist lockdown series in 2020. Through her practice she explores DIY music technologies and the cultures that exist around them, most recently undertaking a creative research study in Berlin on the live AV, art/science & DIY synth scenes supported by the Artists International Development Fund.
Vicky is a selected artist on the AMPLIFY Digital Artist Initiative 2020, an artist development programme promoting and connecting the work of women identifying artists in UK, Argentina and Canada supported by MUTEK Festival, Somerset House Studios and British Council.
Recent live work includes a live performance at MUTEK: Barcelona 2020 as part of #WEAREEQUALS with Brighter Sound, Oram Awards Winners Livestream 2020, ‘Yemen: Say Hello to Connect’ a voice interactive digital installation exploring the interconnected issues of the humanitarian crises for FutureEverything and Imperial War Museum North (shortlisted for SXSW) and ‘Breaking the sound barrier’ a response to the Delia Derbyshire archive at John Rylands Library as part of Manchester After Hours.
As co-founder of NOISE ORCHESTRA, a DIY electronics project building Noise Machines that translate light into sound, she has been artist in residence at National Science & Media Museum, STEIM, Pervasive Media Studios, CTM and Q02. Current projects include ‘SWARM’: Play the light of the city’, which was selected for ENLIGHT (European Light Expression Network) to develop portable noise machines where citizens play the light of their cities, premiering at Rome Media Art Festival in 2018. CACTUS Noise Machine, Noise Orchestra’s first light- noise synth was released in 2020 and is available from noiseorchestra.org
An experienced arts manager, producer and educator, Vicky works as Associate Artist at FutureEverything and as a music facilitator for Brighter Sound, Yorkshire Sound Women’s Network and as sound art mentor for BBC New Creatives North. Formally Vicky worked as Whitworth Young Contemporaries project manager (youth collective for 15-25s at The Whitworth, part of CIRCUIT a Tate led, Paul Hamlyn funded project to transform the way young people interact with art galleries)