Atmosphere of Sound

That Unseen Vibrance

Yolande Harris

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Can our conscious listening effect the world around us? That unseen vibrance. These are dense vibrations, larger than our bodies, larger than our eardrums. They work through us. They present as oceanic. I have a sense of being inside the sound, submerged in another medium, molten, or perhaps growing wings. Of enormous pressure depth yet vibrance shimmer. To dive into the oceanic with our own airborne sounds, feet on the ground, ears underwater. What animal could hear like this?
Imagine an entwined sonic future of humans and ocean creatures. The pandemic-induced ‘anthropause’ in human activity, when oceans and land became suddenly and significantly quieter, offered both a window into possible sonic futures, and importantly, an opportunity to reflect back and hear ourselves more clearly. Yolande Harris’ audio visual worlds setup hope that an expanded sonic imagination can contribute to re-balancing human relationships to our environments. Sound is the harbinger of such a renewed relatedness.
Yolande will lead remote underwater sound walks along the Pacific coast as part of ‘Melt Me Into The Ocean’ (2018) and present work with collaborating scientist Ari Feidlaender using video and sounds from tagged whales in ‘From a Whale’s Back’ (2020). Her most recent highly resonant sound work presents the oceanic with dense vibrations, larger than our bodies, larger than our eardrums, sounds that work through us, in ‘That Unseen Vibrance’ (2021)


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Yolande Harris: Yolande is an artist and researcher exploring ideas of sonic consciousness, creating installations and performances with sound and video to create intimate and visceral experiences that heighten awareness of our relationship to the environment. Her projects consider techniques of navigation, expanding perception beyond the range of human senses, the technological mediation of underwater environments and our relationship to other species. Her projects on underwater sound aim to bring us closer to this inaccessible environment, encouraging connection, understanding and empathy with the ocean.


UCLA Art Sci Center’s garden is organized around the themes of our 2024 Getty Pacific Standard Time: Art x Science x LA exhibition, Atmosphere of Sound: Sonic Art in Times of Climate Disruption. Getty Pacific Standard Time Art x Science x LA UCLA Art Sci Center California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center Leonardo ISAST