Visiting Practitioner Series 2020/21

The 2020/21 Season of SARU Visiting Practitioner seminars will be online but with a theme of intimacy. All events will take place via Zoom and are entirely free to sign up to and join. Register in advance via Eventbrite.


Monday 7th December 2020, 18:00-20:00 GMT: Lily Hunter Green (composer and visual artist)

Monday 1st February 2021, 18:00-20:00 GMT: Kristen Gallerneaux (artist and curator)

Monday 15th March 2021, 18:00-20:00 GMT: Nisha Ramayya (poet)

Monday 12th April 2021, 18:00-20:00 GMT: Tom Tlalim (artist and musician)

Source: Medel –

S01E04      Tom Tlalim

Monday 12th April 2021, 18:00-20:00 GMT

Tom Tlalim‘s work explores the relation between sound, technology and political power. His practice includes installations, sound art, films and text. His artwork examines sonic artefacts, voice and spaces as ideological devices. In 2016-18 he was artist in residence at the Victoria and Albert museum, leading to the exhibitions ‘Tonotopia’ and ‘The Future Starts Here’. Other recent exhibitions include the Venice Architecture Biennale (With Susan Schuppli / Forensic Architecture, 2016), TodaysArt (Kawasaki, 2016), ‘Art in the age of Asymmetrical Warfare’ (Witte de With, 2015), ‘Hlysnan’ (Casino Luxemburg, 2014), and See you in The Hague (Stroom, 2014). His work was nominated for the Tiger award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and his regular collaborations with the choreographer Arkadi Zaides are performed widely. He received his PhD in Media, Art and Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths University of London and he holds MAs in Composition and Sonology from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. He is senior lecturer and leads the Creative Research unit at Wimbledon college of Arts, UAL.

Tonotopia: Listening Through Digital Ears

‘‘It really is like dealing with a new medium … It’s sure too bad that what I hear can’t be recorded.’

Pioneer CI recipient Charles Graser in 1973 (source Mara MIlls, 2014)

In this session, artist, composer and writer Tom Tlalim will present his sound art project, Tonotopia, where he interviewed and collaborated with Cochlear Implant (CI) users, collecting stories and sounds, and voicing their listening experiences and relationships with their digital implants. CIs are the first widely available sensory prosthetic technology. The implant bypasses the mechanism of the ear, emitting electrical pulses directly onto the auditory nerve within the cochlea. Designed primarily to convey speech and language, music and complex sounds can sound harsh and unpleasant. The limitations of this technology and its life-defining effects have made this collaboration particularly productive as it became clear that each participant’s hearing is different and that creating and curating sound art for CI calls for re-consideration of what listening is, and for a nuanced discussion of the ethics involved, particularly in the context of the Victoria and Albert museum. Tlalim will present some of the stories, themes and sounds that emerged from these interviews and explore some of the questions that emerged from the artistic curatorial process.

Image of Tonotopia video installation
Image by Hydar Dewachi / V&A Friday Late

About the SARU Visiting Practitioner Series

Co-convened by Dr Matt Parker and Dr Patrick Farmer as part of the Sonic Art Research Unit, in the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes, The SARU Visiting Practitioner Series invites a selection of internationally acclaimed artists, writers, curators and researchers to host an online seminar in a format of their choosing. Attendance is free via Zoom but registration in advance is required.