Creative collaborators

Tract and Touch launched in 2016 to build forward from recent work by Yvon Bonenfant. The collaborators below have helped develop Tract and Touch’s initial projects.

Yvon Bonenfant’s practice has grown from working on the fringes of interdisciplinary and experimental music and dance to leading large scale arts projects derived from the voice.

From 2013-15, he imagined and delivered the Your Vivacious Voice series of artworks and education packages for children aged 6-11 and their adults. This included national touring performance Uluzuzulalia, Voice Bubbles for iPad, now transferred to, and being redeveloped updated for relaunch by OKIDO media, and the installation The Voice Trunk , which showed at the Natural History Museum before being installed in Winchester Science Centre as its first work of child- focused art.

These projects, supported by the Wellcome Trust Large Arts Awards, Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, and the University of Winchester, have reached more than 230 000 audience to date, and signalled a turn toward an interest in audience voicing and the tactile register.

You can browse other selected output since 2007 at www.yvonbonenfant.com.

He is also Professor of Artistic Process, Voice and Extended Practices at the University of Winchester and publishes about his work widely.

Ash is a sound, digital and audiovisual artist with a background in MAX, acoustics and digital coding. His work has been shown widely in Europe and the UK, and he collaborates regularly to help other artists realise their concepts. He was the main computer artist on all the www.yourvivaciousvoice.com projects, understands audience interaction dynamics intimately, and has worked closely with Peter Glynne-Jones to develop our voice-responsive coding across all digital projects. www.kingsleyash.com
Shearer is the director of the artwork fabrication studio ‘Other Fabrications’. He collaborates with artists and studios to realise sophisticated and complex works. He has been co-designing, developing and managing the production and installation of key national and international artworks since 2003. Examples include: Semi Detached, Tate Britain, 2004; Singing Ringing Tree, Burnley, 2007; UK Pavilion Walkways, Shanghai Expo, 2010. James’s own company, Other Fabrications, has been running since 2011 and has successfully completed high profile projects in venues such as London’s V&A and Science Museums, The Tower of London, and Perth Concert Hall. James’ collaboration as a design thinker feeds into all of our current projects. www.otherfabrications.com
Glynne-Jones is an Asssociate Professor and New Frontiers Fellow of the University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and was recently awarded a five-year EPSRC early career fellowship. He is currently researching the manipulation of microscopic particles using the forces generated by ultrasonic waves, including bioengineering of lung and other tissues, which he levitates using sound. In conjunction with us, he has been co-developing the relationship between coding, transducer action, and sensation of vibration in objects, as well as the textural effects of vibrational waves; he is experimenting with silicone-derived robotics, ultrasound palm haptic arrays and other technologies across all our projects. Peter’s research profile
Offeh was born in Accra, Ghana in 1977 and grew up in London. He is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of history. His work encompasses performance, social practice, video and photography, often using humour as a means to confront the viewer with aspects of contemporary culture and history. Recently Offeh has approached the themes of service and Afro hair culture through collective live engagements with other artists, performers and community participation. He has shown widely both in the UK and abroad, including at Tate Modern, The Studio Museum Harlem, Aspex, and elsewhere. With Tract and Touch, Harold is helping us to develop performance interventions that will take place alongside Curious Replicas. www.haroldoffeh.com
Shearing is an award-winning artist who creates immersive multimedia environments and spaces. He is interested in how audiences engage both physically and conceptually with design and installation art. He explores audience engagement by creating intimate, and at times spectacular, art and performance installations using video, sound and organic materials. David’s work operates as a hybrid between fine art and performance practice. Recent work includes The Weather Cafe (2016), a weather responsive cafe in the heart of the city of Leeds, and The Dock (2016), a Lowry Commission and event space for the Week 53 Festival in Salford. In 2014 David was award a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship and produced The Weather Machine (2015) in partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse and stage@leeds. In 2013 and it all comes down to this… won the World Stage Design award for best Installation design. David has a PhD in ‘Audience Immersion and the Experience of Scenography’ University of Leeds (2015). For Tract and Touch, Shearing has collaborated extensively on the visual languages and spatial thinking that underpin the Touching Your Voice Inside Out projects. www.davidshearing.com
Greinke is a developer of smart textiles who makes artwork and collaborates on refined and sensual interplay between fibres, kinetic interaction and synaesthetic experience. Her work merges elements of textile design with electronic and material engineering. She produces functional and aesthetic material artefacts and installations that communicate scientific concepts, using geometry, material and structure. Her work has been shown in the UK, Norway, Germany, Ireland and Belgium in fine art and design contexts. Notably, she has collaborated with designer Alessandro Altavilla on sound-generating fabrics.

Greinke contributed extensively to the development of textile components and surface treatments within the Touching Your Voice Inside Out concepts, and worked especially closely with Simon Laroche on the Moth Membrane NebulaSee her project flickr stream or her profile at www.beritgreinke.com.

Simon Laroche creates installations, audio and video performances, robotic and body art works. He has developed a critical point of view on the hybridisation and development of various biological, artificial and social systems. He collaborates on theatre, fashion design, dance and cinema productions. His work has been presented in Asia, Europe, South and North America and in the Middle East. He has developed a series of robotically animated sound and environment responsive textiles for designer Ying Gao.

For our projects, Laroche co-developed the robotics and responsivity framework for the concept for the piece Inside the Moth Membrane Nebula, and consulted on other aspects of the Touching Your Voice Inside Out project .Explore here his previous e-textile work for conceptual clothing designer Ying Gao. Or, here is his collaborative studio in Montreal.

Other Fabrications is the studio of designer, conceptor & fabricator James Shearer, above and is our installation development partner so to date. www.otherfabrications.com
Epstein is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist, specialising in voice disorders. Since 1999, she has been Head of Department Speech & Language Therapy Services, as well as Head of Voice Research, at the Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital at Greys Inn, London – the NHS Centre of Excellence for ENT. She has held various Honorary Senior Lecturer positions at UCL, as well as creating and running a successful MSc course in Voice Pathology since 2003. She has worked with a series of high profile clients, and was involved in Adele’s recent vocal surgery and recovery. She is cross-appointed to a renowned laryngological research group at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Epstein has been a key scientific collaborator for our projects so far. Discussions with her have influenced their shape, qualities and audience engagement strategies deeply. www.ruthepstein.com

Professor Catherine Best is Chair in Psycholinguistic Research, MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney. Best has a particular interest in speech acquisition and the holistic anatomy of phoneme reproduction. Best has expertise in the ways humans are ‘hard wired’ to explore unfamiliar sound and how they acquire phonetic mimetic reflexes. She is currently researching why and how infants can perceive similar languages across accents and dialects.

Discussions with Best, whose imagination is deeply creative and has strong artistic affinities, have contributed to shaping our concepts to date. Best’s profile is here.