Next event
06.10.2023 Opening research exposition at Zone2Source (free entrance, registration not required)

Artistic Research Project
by ArtEZ professorship Theory in the Arts
in cooperation with Zone2source

A growing number of scientists, scholars and artists agree that we have entered the Anthropocene, a geological era in which humankind has become a major force in shaping the Earth. In this context the concept of landscape acquires a new urgency, as well as a new meaning: Where landscape historically has often been thought of as a picturesque vista or a passive backdrop for human protagonists, contemporary artists and theorists conceptualize landscape not so much as a noun but as a verb. The latter expresses a continuous flux of becoming in which both human and more-than-human agencies are entangled in a polyphony of ‘world making’, i.e. landscaping.

Listening as research
The artistic research project Polyphonic Landscapes inquires the question how sound and the act of listening can contribute to a more active understanding of landscapes. In other words: How can our sense of hearing foster a more embodied, inclusive, relational, and reciprocal connectivity to our environment, the latter being ecologically understood as a process, in which various life forms, materials, energy flows and temporalities are involved?

The underlying goal of the project is to gain more insight into the processes as of how artistic research(ers) produce new entrances to specific layers of knowledge that are not or hardly touchable by regular academic practices. In tandem with this, the ways in which the researching artists will give shape to their investigations and how they substantiate the public character of research, are an important point of focus.

Polyphonic Landscapes operates at three levels:

  1. Sonic research into the urgent problem of the relation between nature and culture
  2. Research into the agency of both theory and practices in artistic research
  3. Research into the ecology of the senses and the multisensorial

Researchers and location
In Polyphonic Landscapes these questions will be enquired into by four internationally acclaimed sound artists: Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (IN, NL), Yolande Harris (UK, US), Teemu Lehmusruusu (FI) and Lia Mazzari (IT, UK). Their one year long artistic research will display all along their process of creating new sound art works that facilitate embodied and situated ways of knowing and experiencing landscape. To foster a fruitful cross-pollination between artistic practice and critical theory, researchers of the ArtEZ Professorship Theory in the Arts (led by Peter Sonderen, project leader Joep Christenhusz) and Zone2Source director Alice Smits will act as a theoretical sounding board, besides other experts.

In close collaboration with the Amsterdam based platform for art, nature, and technology Zone2Source, the research activities are to take place in and around the fifty-year-old Amstelpark, a hybrid environment in which the urban and the natural are closely intertwined. The participants will explore the sonic environment of the location by self defined research questions. The progression of their investigations will be shared during three public research seminars (see agenda). As a conclusion of the project, the connected sound art works will be exhibited by Zone2Source between mid-September and mid-November 2023.

National Research Agenda (NWA)
Polyphonic Landscapes is part of the Art Route NWA-project Bit by bit, or not at all within the scheme ‘Small Projects’ which is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). In this project several cluster questions will be addresses that were posed by the National Research Agenda. For instance: ‘What is quality of life?’ and ‘What does art mean to people?’.

Polyphonic Landscapes seeks to find new perspectives on these questions by means of artistic research that concentrates on inquiring the relationship nature and culture, and the place of the human and non-human in particular. It endorses the NWA Art Route’s view that, in the face of global climate breakdown, art can be an alternative way of knowledge production, that sidesteps dichotomies between subject and object, knowing and experiencing, human and nonhuman, in the face of climate breakdown.


Initiative, coordination:
Professorship Theory in the Arts, ArtEZ University of the Arts
Dr. Peter Sonderen, responsible professor
Joep Christenhusz, MA, project leader
Alice Smits, artistic director

Artistic Researchers:
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (IN, NL)
Yolande Harris (UK, US)
Teemu Lehmusruusu (FI)
Lia Mazzari (IT, UK)

Project partners:

Educational partners:
Honours Lab, ArtEZ University of the Arts

Joep Christenhusz
(Jo.Christenhusz (at)


Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is a contemporary artist, researcher, and writer. Chattopadhyay produces works for large-scale installations and live performance addressing issues of environment and ecology, migration, race, and decoloniality. His works have been widely exhibited, performed, or presented across the globe. Chattopadhyay has an expansive body of scholarly publications in artistic research, media theory and aesthetics in leading peer-reviewed journals. He is the author of four books: The Nomadic Listener (2020), The Auditory Setting (2021), Between the Headphones (2021), and Sound Practices in the Global South (2022). Chattopadhyay holds a PhD in Artistic Research and Sound Studies from the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Critical Media Lab, Basel, Switzerland.

Research Project

Co-sounding: Towards a Sonorous Land delves into a sonically empowered unpacking of the term 'landscape'. Considering it a construct of the Anthropocene, the research aims to destabilize and reconfigure canonical Dutch landscape paintings by Sonic Interaction Design as a participatory method to decolonize the static painting. Co-sounding develops an exhibition and a series of presentations on the critical issues of sound, ecology, listening and coloniality. The exhibition consists of custom-built framed canvasses equipped with sensors, code, and field recording; the audience interaction is computed to build participatory sonic narratives that are inclusive, situational, and artistically malleable providing the audience a creative agency.

Click here to learn more about Co-sounding


Yolande Harris is an artist, musician and researcher exploring ideas of sonic consciousness. Through audio-visual installations, walks and performances she creates intimate visceral experiences that heighten awareness of our relationship to the environment. Her projects explore respect and advocacy for the environment and to other species, approached through a sonic sensibility. Yolande presented her work worldwide in venues ranging from intimate concerts and walks, to international museums, including the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the House of World Cultures Berlin and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Yolande was a research fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Academy and holds a PhD in artistic research on ‘Sound, Environment and Sonic Consciousness’ from the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University. Yolande was Assistant Professor in open media at Rhode Island School of Design and currently teaches digital media art, electronic music and sound art at San Jose State University and the University of California Santa Cruz.

Research Project

Vertigo and the Sound Portal is an invitation to explore states of sonic reorientation through the vertiginous experience of a sound portal. How do we hear displaced sounds? Or sense remote presence and connections with distant environments? The project encourages a heightened sensitivity and relational reorientation, facilitated by sound and listening, and celebrates an amorphous, fluid relationship to place and identity through the concept of vertigo. The sound portal emerged as an imaginative experience of more than one place at once, encouraging us to travel through sounds to a place as much internal as out in the world. This weaving of internal and external perceptions and attentions through sound is sensorially expanded in the installation by projected video and woven headphones. Connecting the Pacific coast of central California with the Amstelpark in Amsterdam, visitors are encouraged to consider how their fixed concept of geographical and ecological location, and the accompanying sense of identity, is extended, amplified and liquefied through sound.

Click here to learn more about Vertigo and the Sound Portal


Teemu Lehmusruusu is a Helsinki-based sound, media and installation artist. His key themes are humanity’s role in ecosystems and the basic conditions of life on our planet, which he approaches with a research-based yet poetic ethos. His work prompts us to reflect on our place in the food web and our impact on the earth’s natural world. Lehmusruusu’s current, long term exploration is into the invisible life within the Earth’s soil, that is in a constant state of flux, and endangered by the environmental crisis. His work enables visitors to encounter soil through sensors, sounds and computer generated images together with natural materials, such as found tree trunks and laboratory-built mycelium structures complemented with poetry or other media.

Research Project

Pulse is a sonically resonating bronze and glass sculpture, a human-to-soil probe connecting to its chosen environment’s ecosystemic agencies and prerequisites of bioactivity with the help of moisture and temperature sensors. The sound sculpture taps into the pulse on the Earth’s skin, the thin organic layer covering our stony planet. In its ethos, the sculpture creates a site of attention to those fragile conditions of life that lie below our feet, and that we classically do not understand to be part of the idea of ‘landscape’. Landscape is understood here as volumes instead of surfaces, and sculpture as a possibility to open routes, places to stop and ways of bodily encounter the dynamism of these volumes as a materially resonating, esthetical experience.

Click here to learn more about Pulse


As a sound artist and researcher, Lia Mazzari engages new audiences through encounters with art in non-conventional spaces (onsite and online) using performance, composition, installation and intervention. Recorded and live events explore how sound can be used as a multidimensional force of acoustic commoning. This relationship to sound and listening often engages collaborators, environmental recording, instrumentation (cello), voices, whip cracking, and most recently transmission technologies and live audio streaming methods. Lia has collaborated closely with audio streaming networks like SoundCamp. ‘As If Radio’, was an ecological radio lab presenting environmental audio streams as a tool of citizen journalism from sites of activism and nature during COP26 in Glasgow (2021). ‘Listening Portals - Звукові портали’ was a recent collaboration and sound installation with Ukrainian artists exhibited at Sopot State Art Gallery (PL), continuously broadcasting live audio from secret locations in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa shortly after Russia’s invasion (2022). In 2022 Lia received an Oram Award.

Research Project

hydroFiles explores how live audio streaming engenders different modalities of ‘being and listening with’ our environments, making the urban and rural waterways of Amsterdam its site of investigation. By giving the Amstel a voice and installing different live audio streams that are continuously broadcasting from above and below sea level, hydroFiles places stereo microphones and hydrophones across surface, ground, drinking and sewage waters. hydroFiles researches the affordances and limitations of live audio streaming, making contributions to creative discourses on environmental sound. With a practice based research approach and the slow monitoring of the digital air waves, the project engages with the emancipatory potential of technology in music and sound art, and prototypes immersive and sustainable strategies for composing new sound works with live audio streams.

Click here to learn more about hydroFiles