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Ellen Moffat: Small Sonorities: Material Signals

Ellen Moffat uses hi/low tech and aesthetics as a poetic and conceptual inquiry into sound, materials, composition and language. In Small Sonorities: Material Signals, objects are driven by low frequency signal that transfers action (visible) into sound (invisible) as translation and metaphor for entanglement and interconnectivity. Sonic kinetic actions may suggest psychological states, ecological instability or social disturbance that refer to forces and noise in our personal lives and everyday environment.

Moffat’s interest is the acoustic properties of objects and resonance–the study of sound relations as forces that transfer energy across spaces. In locating resonance and situating the body, physical presence (sound vibration) confronts physical presence (bodies), opening up a vocabulary of sound based on direct contact and experience. Objects are sonic characters whose actions are triggered by external forces, resulting in sound-kinetics as synchronous and non-synchronous events. Drawing from Dadaist techniques, this work proposes a form of Little Theatre: objects are actors that perform and are performed by conditions and chance occurrence.


Project Credits:
Glenn Markwart, Lighting
Andrei Feheregyhazi, Camera and Video Editing
Canada Council for the Arts


Ellen Moffat (b. Toronto, 1954) is based in Saskatoon. Her practice includes independent and interdisciplinary collaborations with visual, literary and performing arts–media, dance, music and voice.

Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in galleries, off-site venues and as public art. Exhibitions include: Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; New Adventures in Sound Art, Toronto; CAFKA, Kitchener; Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax; Epcor Centre, Calgary; Kentler International Art Centre, Brooklyn; Salon Ba’stav, Tel Aviv; Hamilton Art Gallery. In addition, her projects include solo and collaborative interdisciplinary performances.