Philip Samartzis





Philip Samartzis is a sound artist, scholar 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 is an Associate Professor within RMIT School of Art, and the artistic director of the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture.

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 two Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellowships (2009 and 2015), which he used to document the effects of extreme climate and weather events in Eastern Antarctica, Macquarie Island, and on the research vessel Aurora Australis. Artworks produced from his fellowships have been incorporated into the National Archives of Australia’s Traversing Antarctica: The Australian Experience (2011-14); MONA FOMA (2011); Polar South: Art in Antarctica, Muntref Museum, the National University of Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires (2011); the 11th International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences, Edinburgh (2011); and the Balance-Unbalance International Conference, Arizona (2015). France Culture and ABC Radio National commissioned a one-hour radio composition titled Antarctica, An Absent Presence (2014) based on the book he produced for Thames & Hudson Australia (2016). In 2014 the Paris based research institution INA-GRM commissioned Davis Station for their Akousma multi-channel surround sound concert series. 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 related exhibitions include Super Field (2018) produced in collaboration with architects Barocco and Wright for the RMIT Design Hub Gallery; Floe produced in collaboration with architect Roland Snooks for the National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial Extra (2018); and Polar Force (2018), a performance work with Speak Percussion which received a Honorary Mention in the Digital Musics and Sound Art category of 2019 edition of Prix Ars Electronica .

Philip has curated numerous performance and exhibition programs including five Immersion festivals (1999 to 2006) focusing on the theory and practice of surround sound spatialisation, as well as Variable Resistance, a series of international sound art presentations for the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2001/02), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002) and the Podewil Art Center, Berlin (2003). Philip 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. He is the recipient of an Australia Council independent curators grant (2012) to develop Bogong ELECTRIC, a site specific festival investigating the Kiewa Hydroelectric scheme set in the Australian Alps. In 2014 the National Gallery of Victoria commissioned Philip to curate a listening program on the theme of place for Melbourne Now comprising soundscape works from around the world.

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