University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

To Be Here - A multi channel video and sound installation (sound design)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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Original languageEnglish
Media of outputFilm
Size4 channels - 16:9, 8-channel sound
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2016


To Be Here (2016) is a series of video works examining the long-term displacement of Sahrawi refugees living in camps in the Sahara desert region of Algeria. Shaping an alternative form of documentary, where staged performance, dramatic camera and personal narrative are interwoven, the project attempts to create a close-looking psychological truth using partially fictive visuals. The research and residency in the camps was funded by the Cultural Association of Seville, Spain, as part of ARTifariti. The work was first exhibited as an immersive installation, with octaphonic sound-scape by composer Rob Godman, commissioned by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in 2015, with a second commission in 2016 that facilitated a discrete collaboration with writer, Ben Rawlence (City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp, 2016).

Rob Godman was commissioned to design the sound for the installation. It was created in situ at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, USA using sound captured 'on-camera' from the location recordings. He designed the playback system and speaker layout. Mixed into eight discrete channels, it allowed the viewer to navigate the space whilst experiencing an immersive environment. Most galleries and museums are built for demonstrating visual art works and sound frequently suffers in this environment. By designing the sound in the space that the artwork was to be viewed in allowed the artists’ to create a genuinely unique audio experience whereby sound became a significant component and not just a spatial effect. It should be noted that the curators of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum demonstrated an unusual understanding of the intricacies of sound and this is demonstrated in the immersive sonic environment that was created.

To Be Here was commissioned as a multichannel work by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and was first shown as part of a solo exhibition from May 2016 (running through to Sep 2016).

ID: 11140472