Philip Samartzis





Philip Samartzis is a sound artist and curator with a specific interest in the social and environmental conditions informing remote wilderness regions and their communities. His art practice is based on deep fieldwork where he deploys complex sound recording technology to capture natural, anthropogenic and geophysical forces. The recordings are used within various exhibition, performance and publication outcomes to demonstrate the transformative effects of sound within a fine art context. He is particularly interested in concepts of perception, immersion and embodiment in order to provide audiences with sophisticated encounters of space and place.

Philip has exhibited and performed widely including presentations at The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris (2001); The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2002); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002); The Mori Arts Centre, Tokyo (2003); The Sydney Opera House (2004); The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2007); The National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2009); The Art Gallery of South Australia (2012); The National Gallery of Victoria (2013); and The Merz Foundation, Turin (2016). Philip has received two Asialink Scholarships - Performing Arts (1999) and Arts Management (2006), which he used to research contemporary Japanese sound culture, leading to numerous transnational collaborative projects.

Philip is the recipient of three Antarctic Division Fellowships (2009, 2015 & 2020), which he is using to document the effects of extreme climate and weather events in Eastern Antarctica, Macquarie Island, and on the research vessels RSV Aurora Australis and RSV Nuyina. His Antarctic works have been incorporated into the National Archives of Australia’s Traversing Antarctica: The Australian Experience (2011-14); Polar South: Art in Antarctica, Muntref Museum in Buenos Aires (2011); the 11th International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh (2011); Antarctica: Five Responses, Art Gallery of South Australia (2020); and Site and Sound: Sonic Art as ecological practice, McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery (2021). In 2014 France Culture and ABC Radio National commissioned a one-hour composition titled Antarctica, An Absent Presence based on the book he produced for Thames & Hudson Australia (2016). In 2017 France Culture commissioned A Surrender to Wind in 9 Parts focusing on the geophysical effects of wind on wilderness areas including Antarctica and sub-Antarctica. Recent Antarctic exhibitions include Super Field (2018) produced in collaboration with architects Baracco+Wright for RMIT Gallery; Floe produced in collaboration with architect Roland Snooks for NGV’s Triennial Extra (2018); and Polar Force (2018), a collaboration with Speak Percussion that received a Honorary Mention in the 2019 edition of Prix Ars Electronica for the Digital Musics and Sound Art category. Philip's newest polar project The Blizzard premieres at NGV Melbourne Design Week 2021.

Philip has curated numerous performance and exhibition programs for various organisations including Variable Resistance, a series of international sound art presentations for the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2001/02), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002). He co-curated The Antarctic Convergence (2012), and The Sonic City (2013), for the Liquid Architecture Festival, which were presented at various venues throughout Australia and New Zealand. Philip is the recipient of an Australia Council independent curators grant (2012) for Bogong ELECTRIC, a site-specific festival investigating the Kiewa Hydroelectric scheme set in the Australian Alps. Most recently Philip co-curated Notes from the Field (2021) for the Murray Arts Museum Albury investigating the way artists translate deep fieldwork into cultural productions.

Antarctica: An Absent Presence book review Anthropo[s]cenic Antarctica