Graduates 2018: PJ Davy: Digital Music and Sound Arts

My work articulates questions about the relationships between each other, society, and the technologies that infiltrate our daily lives, often mediating personal relationships and transforming the socio-political dynamics of the world.

Through conceptual audiovisual installation art, I present immersive experiences that challenge the perceptions of accepted routines, bringing people together into spaces to contemplate human interaction. I’m influenced by artists such as Kelly Richardson, Ryoji Ikeda, and Richard Mosse, who all abstract technologies, presenting them through installation art that holds a black mirror up to society.

 PJ Davy DMSA

In my recent work, I have been concerned with the increasing digitisation of our lives, the effects of the internet on relationships, and our relationship with the internet, itself. My sound and light installation Heads in The Cloud communicates these concerns using synchronised 13.1 channel 4D sound and a matrix of LED lights. I asked people to send me a recording of themselves vocalising their own thoughts posted on the internet, which I’ve used as the material for the installation. These recordings cover a wide range of subject matter, ranging from artist biographies to #metoo posts, and recordings in any language have been encouraged to better reflect the global scale of digitisation. As the voices move around the installation space and through the centre, they become digital noise, indistinguishable from each other; and the LED lights respond to the location and character of the sound. Using the human voice as source material provides clear communication of concepts of social digitisation through spatio-temporal digital audio manipulation.

 

What are your plans after graduating?

After graduation, I have a concept album, based on the installation, to record for those who donated to the crowdfunding I ran to raise money for the installation build and a local charity. I have some other projects lined up throughout the year but will focus, primarily, on my installations. Heads in The Cloud feels like it’s only version 1.0 at the moment, and I plan to build bigger versions for larger spaces. I would like to install versions in public spaces for anyone to have the chance to encounter it, and I’ll keep encouraging anyone to submit a recording to the installation. I intend to go on the study an MFA in Fine Art in 2019 to develop my practice, further.

How have you found studying DMSA at Brighton

The Digital Music & Sound Arts BA(Hons) program has given me the means to express the concepts and context of my work. It’s also presented areas of working with sound and music that I hadn’t considered until now. I never thought I’d be building a sound & light installation by the time I graduated, but the course gives you the freedom to focus on your own medium throughout the final year. It’s been inspiring working alongside my peers, and the course tutors, technicians and guest lecturers have helped push my creativity beyond my expectations.

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