3-channel 4K UHD video, 5.1 audio, 11:30 minutes, 2021
What Listening Knows creatively interrogates different concepts around the act of listening, as if listening were the primary mode of sensing the world. Across three spectacular screens, the camera choreography is both grounded and ungrounded, imbued with an acoustic consciousness. The camera twists and tilts across lumpy hillsides, dips into an insect world, then levitates towards a tilted cloudy sky.
Accompanied by a highly-detailed spatial soundscape, the video is the result of an artist residency at Messums Wiltshire in 2019. Individuals appear as field recordists, trailing microphones and recording devices through cornfields, scanning anthills and ancient trees. But not all viewpoints are human. As the screens shift from macro to micro perspectives, we see that humans are perhaps not the only ones listening. Leber and Chesworth’s imagined environment is alive with hidden forces.
Sonia Leber & David Chesworth: What Listening Knows, Messums Wiltshire, UK (2021)
Filming, editing and sound design: Sonia Leber & David Chesworth
Colour grading: Peter Hatzipavlis
Performers: Charlotte Hall, Louis Pearson, Molly Grant and singers from Salisbury Cathedral Choir
The artists gratefully acknowledge the support of Johnny Messum and the team at Messums Wiltshire, Salisbury Cathedral Choir and the School of Art at RMIT University, Melbourne. Special thanks to Fiona Gruber
All Sonia Leber & David Chesworth
Installation views of the exhibition at Messums Wiltshire by Steve Russell