Deep Listening

Performed at Antwerp Mansion on the 5th of May 2022

Performance drawing at the West Art Collective x Dyke Trash Presents: Sapphic - an exhibition celebrating art by queer female identifying & non-binary creatives.

For this performance I chose to explore the concept of Deep Listening – a concept coined by Pauline Oliveros, which incorporates meditative practices like self-awareness with performance to cultivate a heightened awareness of the sonic environment. Oliveros came out as a lesbian in 1971 and was an outspoken feminist who collaborated with all-women ensembles, as well as other queer artists.

She spoke of her practice as teaching her to “listen to the depth of a tone and to have patience. Rather than initiating musical impulses of motion, melody, and harmony I wanted to hear the subtlety of a tone taking space and time to develop. The tones linger and resonate in the body, mind, instrument, and performance space.” Each composition is a process of meditation in itself, which is echoed in Smith’s process-based approach to drawing. Unfortunately, Oliveros died in 2016 but this performance is an ode to her as she was a pioneer in the post-war electronic art music scene.