Justin Bennett (UK, 1964, based in The Hague) works with sound and image. Trained in sculpture and electronic music, he uses drawing, video, sculpture, and a diverse array of sound forms in his research. One recurrent theme is our experience of archticture, urban development, and the (un)built space. He employs sound in order to render it audible as well as palpable: in his work, listening carefully provides a radically different way of seeing and experiencing.
Bennett’s recording of sound is comparable with the shooting of video. He uses various microphones to change perspectives – like camera lenses. The microphones – the listener’s points-of-hearing – move through a city, a street, a windy Russian tundra, or the different-sounding spaces of a building.
In many of Bennett’s works and installations sound is complemented by video images that affect the experience of the visitor differenty again. In some of his research projects the audiovisual material is juxtaposed with voice-overs and drawings, mapping space, movement, sound, magnetic fields, and so forth, through language and diagrams. Thus a reciprocity is created between various forms of expression: a drawing or a text can be a score; and sound and image become ways of drawing and writing.
This way, Bennett’s work is also a research into sound and image as specific media, and an exploration of the ways in which they can be used and experienced. His way of working sparkles unexpected complementarities, synaesthetics, collisions and manipulations of the mind.
Bennett regularly gives lectures, hosts workshops, produces soundtracks for filmmakers and is a founding member of the performance group, BMB con.
With Michiel Huijsman, Bennett is co-initiator and co-curator of Sonic West (Amsterdam), a collaboration of the Amsterdam Public Library and Soundtrackcity. Using a website, a mobile app, and sound walks, Soundtrackcity investigates the influence and meaning of city sound together with residents, artists, planners and scientists. Read Bennett’s opening statement here (Dutch)