Yolande Harris is an artist and researcher exploring ideas of sonic consciousness, creating installations and performances with sound and video to create intimate and visceral experiences that heighten awareness of our relationship to the environment. Her projects consider techniques of navigation, expanding perception beyond the range of human senses, the technological mediation of underwater environments, and our relationship with other species. Her projects on underwater sound aim to bring us closer to this inaccessible environment, encouraging connection, understanding, and empathy with the ocean.
Her series Taking Soundings (2006-8) explores historic, contemporary, and animal navigations using sound; Sun Run Sun: On Sonic Navigations (2008-2010) expands this into instruments and installations of sonified and visualized GPS data; and Scorescapes (2009-2012) examines relationships between sound, image and place, especially in underwater environments. Listening to the Distance (2015) explores expanded sensorial perceptions, the technological mediation of distant environments and the animals that inhabit them. Recent projects include a sound walk at Dundee harbor with underwater sounds from the Arctic in Whale: Dundee (2017); a series of sound walks using ocean sound recordings from the Monterey Bay, Melt Me Into The Ocean (2018); and a multichannel immersive installation using video and sounds from tagged whales in From a Whale’s Back (2020). Yolande created a highly resonant sound work commissioned for the inaugural international Listening Biennial held in Berlin That Unseen Vibrance (2021) and a video work A Waterfall of Falling Sounds that I Catch Dreaming/Listening to Whales at Roden Crater (2022). Her new work Vertigo and the Sound Portal (2023), exhibited in Amsterdam, explores the possibility of the simultaneous presence of distant environments through displaced sound and video.
Yolande studied at Edinburgh University and contemporary music practices at Dartington College of Arts, she holds an MPhil from Cambridge University in Architecture and Moving Image and a Ph.D. from Leiden University in ‘Sound, Environment and Sonic Consciousness’. She presents her work internationally, past exhibitions include Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the House of World Cultures Berlin, and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Awards include Individual Artist Stipends from the Dutch Funds for Visual Arts Architecture and Design and research fellowships at the Orpheus Research Center in Music in Ghent, the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, the Jan van Eyck Academy of Visual Arts in Maastricht. Yolande was an Assistant Professor in video and open media at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and is currently a Lecturer in digital media art at San Jose State University and a Lecturer and Research Associate in electronic music and media art at the University of California Santa Cruz.