Aswarm: A Public Arts organisation, drawing on a small team of specialists and a wider team of creative professionals. Since 1997 we have produced some very successful projects both here and abroad, incl: transforming Brighton’s C18th bandstand into an octophonic arena for audio art and later exporting this concept with the British Council to Beirut for Lebanese artists; while ‘Gather’* was commissioned by With Out Walls as a touring Installation for urban tree’s and toured Street Arts Festivals across the UK (*Guardian pick of the week). -Aswarm grew from earlier company orgs Swarm Sonics and Retrovert Productions.
Thor McIntyre-Burnie Artist statement:
Trained in intermedia Fine Art (BA Hons 1/1,1996) and later Music Technology, his work bridges both conceptual and technical arena’s.
Whilst sound remains a key element, it is the interaction between this invisible medium and tactile materials and structures that fascinates me.
Thor has been working as an Artist and Sound Designer in the UK and abroad since 1997. An early instigator of sound as a tool for site-specific public art, Thor has been “quietly” pushing the boundaries of audio arts in the tree’s, streets, parks, bandstands, lighthouses and pockets of our towns and cities ever since. An artist concerned with creating experiences to walk within, sound is however but a part of his largely site-based and immersive works.
” ..the thing that attracts me about utilising sound is that sound does not exist in a vacuum.. the way it can transform materials, space and function, means for me it is an inherently spatial, interactive and sculptural medium“.. “Sound offers the glue & string to re-animate physical structures & spaces, reshaping their function and offering an alternative way to utilise them..” “..for me sound is one of my tools rather than an end.. the physical form and experience is as important as the sonic content. ..and its for this reason I often find the term ‘Sound Artist’ problematic..but hey..”
Early works like Swarm ’96, cyphered Murdoch’s Sky network live through 60 suspended speaker cones ripped from old TV sets. -Whilst 1999’s Sonic SeAir transformed an C18th bandstand into a pioneering arena for octophonic sound works. This work incorporated commissioning works from a range of pre-eminent artists including recent Turner Prize winner Suzan Philipz, Chris Watson and Stewart Hall. Orchestral collaborations range from whole building immersive works, exploding a symphony in action, as Orchitecture, to an interactive lift, in ATonalTimeTwister.
Not content with just re-awakening disused spaces, his recent piece TexStep, temporarily re-modelled a nightclub into a disembodied scenario for ‘goin out’.
Although more of an exponent of tangible installations to walk within, Thor’s work has also featured as broadcast works for BBC Radio 3 and just recently Radio4‘s Ghost Roost traced his collaborative work with Chris Watson on the West Pier since 2001. On-line his work for Torkradio (’98) & Livestream (’99) (Produced by Bob Jaroc & Chris Dawley-Brown) formed some of the first live audio-art webcasts on the web. His current evolving installation project The Speakers has been awarded a European INSITU commission, and is now touring Europe‘s leading outdoor and public space based arts festivals.
As a Sound Designer Thor’s work includes the European award winning SoundSpace for Eureka Museum; Singapore and Sydney Int Arts Festival’s headline show Crackers with TWF (The World Famous); Full Circle with TWF & Slovenia’s Terra Folk; the National Youth Theatres largest ever site-specific production Slick; Hydrocracker’s 5*star rated site-specific production New World Order (5*Guardian & Indi); whilst recent dance work Rites Of War with Darshan Singh Bhuller and BBC Afghanistan Correspondent David Loyn, is currently on tour nationwide.
Thor’s early childhood years spent travelling and growing up in Australia, where the influence of Aboriginal culture, wilderness and attending various experimental schools, had a profound effect on his outlook, especially when juxtaposed with life in the UK. It also explains his fascination with trying to grasp that, which is transient.. ..to hold a swarm.. to walk within a symphony.. to understand our place in a constantly moving space.
In order to really engage with a space, one has to spend time within It
..sound exists in time and thus offers a wonderful medium to engage with space.
..it is this notion of the physicality of sound that really fascinates me.