Felicity Ford: Sonic Wallpapers

The Sonic Wallpapers project asked “What does this wallpaper sound like to you?” Sound artist Felicity Ford brought a new auditory approach to MoDA’s wallpaper collection, asking what it would be like if we decorated our homes with sounds.

The result was a series of audio pieces to accompany a number of MoDA’s wallpapers, each of which provokes the listener to look again and think with fresh eyes and ears.

The research process

During the summer of 2012, Felicity visited MoDA’s collections and selected over fifty wallpaper samples. She chose the ones she thought would stimulate memories and provoke interesting discussion. These wallpapers were presented to a number of invited guests.

Felicity recorded their conversations and used them as the basis of her audio works. She commented that “powerful narratives” emerged as guests discussed the wallpapers in terms of “atmospheres and memories”, not simply in terms of design, fashion and history.

Interestingly, some apparently “boring” wallpapers provoked lots of comment and discussion, whereas others which might have seemed more dynamic elicited very little response at all.

In this clip, Felicity describes her creative process and her intentions for the project:

At MoDA we have always been interested in the idea that wallpaper represents part of our shared memories of home; of spaces both remembered and imagined. This project was a continuation of that same approach. It also marked a move towards using MoDA’s collections as a starting point for creative practice rather than seeing it as a purely historical resource.
We were delighted with Felicity’s work, as it helped us to think about using and sharing the museum’s collections in a whole new way.
You can listen to all of Felicity’s recordings on Soundcloud. 
A book with accompanying CD, featuring all the wallpapers and recordings, is available from our online shop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *