Michelle Macklem is an audio producer and artist. Her work explores the relationship between people and their environments through sound. Her work has been featured on KCRW, BBC, ABC RN, CBC, Radiotopia and WBEZ’s Re:sound. Alongside Jess Shane, she is the co-founder of Constellations, a project that illuminates audio art from a community of international artists making sound works that convey meaning through evocation and abstraction.
Our personal territories are constructed of soundscapes both real and imagined. My work explores these places – buttons and knobs, hands and wings, tables and trees – using sound as an interlocutor between bodies and their environments. Sound is vibration. Sound affects the body. Bodies feed back into soundscapes. Listening is an active force that allows for greater understanding of the realities of living in our world.
I’ve made work about hummingbird wings, swimming in pools and lakes and the articulation of status through where we choose to eat. I’m attentive to the hidden and misheard sounds that permeate our lives. There are so many unheard, unnoticed pieces of our world and my work encourages taking time to listen.
What can we learn through the act of listening that cannot be sensed by other ways of knowing? How can we get out of our own heads to comprehend the experience of other beings? What does sticking with the uncomfortable sounds – the missteps and mistakes – reveal about being human?
Survival depends on careful listening. Sounds are sensed through membranes and roots, skin and jawbones – it’s an inherent part of the interconnectedness of being alive. Through listening, I’ve heard the joyousness and distresses of being human, and my work holds a space for reflection and contemplation about the sensitivity of the world and our connection to it.
You can email me below – or tweet at me here.