An interdisciplinary curatorial toolkit for site-specific sound art  

This specialised curatorial toolkit is designed to aid curators in orchestrating site-specific sound art commissions within post-war Western metropolitan topographies. It offers guidance on the curation, production, presentation, and dissemination of sound art projects, with a focus on engaging with the complex social, political, and historical layers unique to each locale. Essential to this process is selecting artists, fostering their creative development, and ensuring the final work reflects the original vision of the project. 

The initial phase involves rigorous location-based research, encompassing historical investigation and engagement with the community to inform the project’s framework. The toolkit outlines strategies for data collection, such as archival research, interviews, and environmental examination. With a solid informational base, the toolkit aids curators in crafting a unique project vision, informed by historical incidents, environmental elements, or relevant post-war themes. This vision guides the artist commissioning phase, influencing the project’s outcome. 

The curator’s next step is to identify artists whose skills and body of work resonate with the project’s direction and can address the specificities of the chosen locale. This selection may involve comprehensive reviews and evaluations to align the artist with the project’s intent. Once artists are onboard, curators are tasked with guiding the artistic process, providing consistent oversight, input, and logistical support. This stage will also require liaising with various stakeholders to navigate any operational complexities. 

The final stages encompass the public presentation of the artwork, followed by an assessment of the project’s impact, audience reception, and reflection on the overall process for continuous improvement. Overall, the commissioning of a sound art project in a post-war inner-city context demands an intricate blend of historical insight, clear artistic direction, and effective project management. This toolkit is designed to guide curators through this detailed yet rewarding endeavour, culminating in an art piece that enriches the cultural fabric of the inner-city landscape. 

Understanding the Context and Historical Background 
Understanding the specifics of a location—the social, political, economic, and cultural narratives woven into its fabric—is paramount. Familiarise yourself with the architectural and design principles that have shaped the post-war inner-city environments. Search for the hidden narratives and underrepresented histories waiting to be unearthed. Collaborate with city planners, historians, sociologists, or anthropologists to enhance an understanding. Employ this knowledge to frame the curatorial vision, connecting the past with the present by employing information accrued from established and non-established archives and census data.  

Artist Selection, Collaboration and Compensation
Identifying artists, musicians, and cultural practitioners whose practices align with the project’s objectives is crucial. Select artists experienced in sound art, social practice, and public engagement, ideally those who demonstrate sensitivity to local history and cultural contexts.  

When collaborating with artists, curators must communicate openly and regularly with artists and understand their creative process and technical needs. Artists must be involved in the planning, execution, and advocating of their work to other stakeholders while ensuring fair compensation and respect for their intellectual property. Post-project, feedback discussions and maintaining relationships can pave the way for future collaborations. Curators must be flexible, considering each artist’s unique needs and perspectives. 

Implementing the principles of either W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) or FRANK (Fair Pay for Artists) is recommended for equitable artist compensation in projects such as site-specific sound art. W.A.G.E. is a New York-based activist organisation that advocates for regulated payment to artists by non-profit institutions, promoting transparency and equity in compensation based on organisational budgets. They emphasise professional treatment of artists as workers deserving fair compensation beyond mere exposure and utilise a fee calculator to standardise and ensure consistency in payment. 

In the UK, similar initiatives include FRANK, which has been recognised as the entity that “pioneers much needed change to fair practice and fair pay for artists in the UK”. FRANK takes an active role “engaging with art organisations, funding bodies and commissioning agencies to reassess their current structures and methods in working with artists”, involving key players in the art sector to foster equitable interactions with artists. Collaborating widely, FRANK “collaborates with artists, art organisations, funding bodies and commissioning agencies”, and is committed to “employ[ing] methods and structures that are responsive to our transitioning society”. This reflects an adaptability to the dynamic changes in culture, economics, and technology. 

FRANK’s commitment extends to “prioritising inclusive and intersectional working” and “challenging hierarchical structures”, aiming to dismantle power dynamics that perpetuate inequity. Their vision is to “work towards aligning the arts community to meaningfully engage to better fair practice in the arts”, striving for a fair, inclusive, and responsive arts sector that upholds the equitable treatment of artists. 

Community Engagement and Participation 
The curator’s function in this context extends into fostering community engagement and participation. site-specific sound art projects should give voice to the community, involving them in the process of discovering and narrating their history. Facilitate workshops, discussions, or focus groups to instil ownership and pride in the community’s heritage. 

Technical Aspects and Installation
Site-specific sound art demands careful attention to technical details. Curators and artists must analyse the acoustic properties of the chosen space, assessing how sound propagates, the effects of natural reverberation, and the impact of ambient sounds. Evaluating sound levels across various conditions provides a foundational understanding of the site’s sonic environment. 

Professional input from sound engineers or acousticians is crucial. Their expertise determines the most effective sound amplification and diffusion techniques, crucial for preventing audio spillage or noise pollution. They assist in selecting and positioning equipment to enhance the audience’s listening experience. Installation integrity is paramount. The process must preserve the site’s physical and visual essence, favouring reversible and non-invasive techniques that harmonise with the environment. Specialised fixtures may be required to protect the integrity of historic locations. 

Environmental stewardship guides the installation, ensuring minimal disturbance to local ecosystems and utilising energy-efficient and sustainable resources. Additionally, the installation’s durability and security are essential, incorporating weatherproofing measures and protective mechanisms against vandalism, which may include remote surveillance solutions. Compliance with local laws and safety protocols is obligatory to ensure the installation is legally sound and safe for public interaction, thereby enriching the inner-city setting without incurring legal or safety risks. 

Documentation and Accessibility
Consider how the project can reach a wider audience. Given the ephemerality of sound art and the site-specificity of the work, innovative documentation methods are essential. These could include high-quality audio recordings, immersive videos, or interactive digital platforms. The goal is to create an accessible experience that respects the essence of the work and its contextual roots. 

Evaluation and Reflection 
Devise an evaluation strategy to assess artistic success and community impact. Consider feedback from the community, artists, and other stakeholders. Reflect on how the project contributes to broader conversations about sound art, social practice, public space, and how we perceive and narrate history. 

The process of curating a site-specific sound art that uncovers underrepresented histories within post-war inner-city development is a wide-reaching and rewarding challenge. It merges art, architecture, history, human geography, community engagement, and inner-city studies, resulting in a rich, layered narrative expressed through sound. This toolkit will provide the framework and guidance to embark on this journey, fostering new understandings of place, history, and the power of sound to give voice to overlooked or marginalised histories.  

1. Identification of Curatorial Fields (in alphabetical order)
In the context of offsite or site-specific curatorial projects, it is crucial to recognise the opportunities for deeper engagement with local communities and contexts. Each curatorial field offers a unique lens to view and interact with the site, helping to shape a meaningful and impactful project.  

Please note that the Curatorial Definitions section comprehensively summarises each of the following roles.  

Activist Curation: 

This approach advocates for social change within a specific physical space or community, using site-specific works to challenge existing power structures or norms. It aims to incite critical dialogue and promote action within the local context. 

Archival Curation:  

Offsite archival curation involves uncovering, interpreting, and presenting historical documents or records in new, site-specific contexts. It can involve the creation of projects that bring underrepresented narratives to light that are linked to the location’s history. 

Community Curation:  

For offsite projects, this approach can give voice to the local community, inviting them to contribute to the curation process. The result could manifest as a site-specific project that echoes local histories, values, and experiences, fostering a sense of shared ownership. 

Cultural Curation:  

This method explores and shares diverse cultural narratives within the context of a local area or community, highlighting underrepresented or marginalised stories. 

Digital Curation: 

For site-specific projects, digital curation could involve managing and preserving digital content that interacts with or responds to a physical space. It can be achieved by creating digital programmes that augment the experience of a site or provide remote access to wider audiences.  

Knowledge Curation:  

This process involves collecting, organising, and presenting knowledge that speaks to the geographical or temporal context to facilitate localised learning and understanding of the history of a space and its constituents.  

Participatory Curation:  

In offsite projects, audiences are generally invited to engage directly with the site or the activities devised by the artist, influencing the curatorial process. It could be through crowd-sourced content or interactive installations that allow the public to shape the site and the artwork. 

Public Art Curation:  

This involves curating artworks in public, offsite spaces. The focus is on making art accessible to all, considering the impact of the work on the local community and the interaction between the public and the site. 

Site-specific/site-responsive Curation:  

An approach that revolves around curating artworks intrinsically connected to or influenced by the specific site. The location and its attributes shape the artworks and their reception. 

Situated Curation: 

A type of curation emphasises context, developing exhibitions deeply connected to their environment and societal conditions, making each site and its companion project unique. 

Social Practice Curation:  

For site-specific projects, this involves working closely with communities to address local social issues through collaborative art projects, emphasising the process and its role in fostering dialogue and relationships. 

Sonic Curation:  

In the context of offsite curation, sonic curation focuses on creating sound art and installations that interact with and respond to the specific acoustic properties of space, providing a unique auditory experience of the site. 

Inner City (Urban) Curation:  

This form of curation uses the inner-city topography as its canvas, presenting artworks in public spaces and engaging with city dwellers to stimulate dialogue about inner-city life, public space, and city development. 

2. Site Research
Identification of sites for site-specific sound art projects necessitates a multi-faceted approach, combining both architectural site analysis and a deep dive into the socio-political history of the area. Here are steps to conduct a comprehensive site investigation: 

Identify Potential Sites: 

Start by identifying potential sites within the inner-city landscape that are interesting due to their location, architectural features, historical significance, or community engagement potential. 

Geographic Location:  

Begin the site analysis with an overview of the site’s geographic location. Consider the site’s proximity to significant landmarks, residential or commercial areas, its connectivity to public transportation, etc. 

Site Boundaries and Existing Buildings:  

Map out the physical boundaries of the site. Note the existing buildings, their purposes, architectural style, and state of preservation. 


Evaluate the natural and artificial features of the site. Topography can impact acoustics and the creation of sound art installations. 

Site Access and Restrictions:  

Look at how the site can be accessed and if any restrictions may limit public access, hinder installation, or pose challenges to the project. 

Historical Planning Permissions and Applications:  

Research previous and existing planning permissions and applications associated with the site. It will provide insight into the site’s past uses and potential future developments. 

Spatial Characteristics:  

Analyse the spatial characteristics of the site, such as openness, enclosure, connection, and hierarchy. Consider how these characteristics may influence the reception and documentation of sound. 

Legal Documentation and Building Plans:  

Review relevant legal documents and building plans to understand ownership, rights, restrictions, and the architectural blueprint of the site. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Data:  

Explore census data and government archives to gather information on the social, political, and ethnic characteristics of the site’s surrounding community. It will provide context and help shape the narrative of the sound art project. 

Community Input:  

Engage with local community members and organisations to gain personal stories, memories, and perspectives about the site. It is imperative in the context of social practice and underrepresented histories. 

It is essential to remember that each site is unique and will require a bespoke approach to investigation. After collating this information, a thorough understanding of the site’s characteristics and context will inform the project’s direction. As new insights emerge, this investigative process should be iterative and revisited throughout the curatorial process. 

2.1. Introduction to Investigation Sites (Case Studies) 
When introducing investigation sites for a curatorial project, especially in the context of creating site-specific sound, a multi-faceted approach is needed. The introduction should provide the following: 

  • A comprehensive view of the site 
  • A clear description of the history of the site 
  • A historical and present-day description of its purpose 
  • The physical and material characteristics of the site 
  • Its relationship to the surrounding community 

When writing the introduction, adhere to the following points and ensure that the text is succinct and informative. 

Description of the Site:  

Start with the basics—where the site is located, its physical characteristics, and its notable features. It could include details about its size, layout, architecture, natural features, or other elements that give the site its unique character. 

Historical Overview:  

Detail the site’s history from its inception. It should include when and why it was created, who created it, and how its purpose or function has evolved. Any significant historical events associated with the site also need to be highlighted. 

Function and Use:  

Describe the site’s current function and how it is used. Clarify if it is a public space like a park or square, a commercial area, an industrial site, or a residential area. How do people interact with the site, and what activities occur there? 

Community and Constituents:  

Identify who makes up the community around the site. This could include information about residents, workers, visitors, or other groups who have a relationship with the site. Discuss the demographic makeup of this community, including details about its social, cultural, and economic characteristics. 

Cultural and Social Significance:  

Discuss the site’s cultural and social significance. Does it hold special meaning for the community? Are there any traditions or events associated with the site? 

Previous Artistic or Curatorial Interventions:  

Discuss any previous artistic or curatorial interventions at the site, if applicable. It could provide insights into how art and sound have been used at the site and how audiences have responded. 

Acoustic Characteristics:  

The site’s acoustic properties are crucial since the focus is on site-specific soundworks. Detail the soundscape of the site, including natural sounds, human-made sounds, echoes, noise pollution, and any other relevant acoustic features. 

Opportunities and Challenges:  

Identify potential opportunities for site-specific soundwork at the site and any challenges or constraints that need to be considered. By comprehensively introducing the site in this way, a thorough understanding of its context will emerge and inform the development of site-specific soundworks which resonate with the location and its community. 

2.2. Further Analysis of Sites of Investigation (Case Studies)  
A comprehensive analysis of the sites under investigation should go beyond basic historical and physical details. If achievable and relevant to the project, follow the majority or all of the guidelines listed below to conduct and present a detailed study. 

Document Study:  

Begin by studying all available documents related to the site, including historical records, architectural plans, government reports, newspaper articles, etc. These documents can provide invaluable insights into the site’s history, evolution, and associated events or significant changes. 


Spend time on the site to understand its characteristics first-hand. Note its physical features, how people interact with it, the everyday sounds, and the general atmosphere. Pay attention to details that might not be evident from documents or interviews. 

Semi-Structured Interviews: 

Conduct interviews with individuals connected to the site. It could include residents, workers, local historians, or anyone with relevant knowledge or experience. Semi-structured interviews allow for flexibility, enabling the interviewee to share unique insights while ensuring that key topics are covered. 

Focus Groups:  

Organise focus groups with community members to understand their collective perspectives. It is beneficial for exploring shared experiences, communal values, and collective memory associated with the site. 


Design questionnaires to gather data from a larger sample of people associated with the site. It can provide a broad understanding of community views and experiences. 

Interdisciplinary Practice-Based Research Projects:

Interdisciplinary research projects can provide additional qualitative data. They allow for a deeper understanding of the complexities of the site from different perspectives and an enriched understanding of the location. 

Artistic Interventions:  

Consider initiating temporary art projects or sound installations on-site. The creation, installation, and public interaction with these projects can provide valuable insights into the site’s potential for site-specific sound art. 

Ethnographic Studies:  

Conduct in-depth ethnographic studies to understand the site’s cultural, social, and acoustic characteristics. It would involve immersive observation, participation, and documentation of daily activities and cultural practices on site. 

Sound Mapping:  

Create a sound map of the site to document and analyse its sonic characteristics. It necessitates recording sounds at various points on the site and using these recordings to create a map representing the site’s soundscape. 

Presentation of Analysis:

Present the analysis in a clear, thorough, and engaging manner. It should include: 

Written Reports:  

Compile detailed written reports for each aspect of the analysis, and use clear, concise language and visual aids where appropriate. 

Visual Materials: 

Use photographs, maps, diagrams, or other visual materials to illustrate findings. 

Audio Recordings:  

Include audio recordings from the sound mapping exercises, interviews, and other sources. 

Data Visualisations:  

Create charts, graphs, or infographics to present quantitative questionnaire data. 

Exhibits or Installations:  

Consider presenting the analysis through exhibits or installations, particularly for the findings from the artistic interventions or sound mappings. 

Remember, the objective is to gain a comprehensive, multi-faceted understanding of the site. The more thorough the analysis, the more effective the site-specific soundwork will be, and the more extensive its capacity to resonate with the site and its community. 

3. Collection and Organisation of Data

Collecting and organising data is a key step in the curatorial process, particularly for projects that aim to unearth underrepresented histories specific to location and employ sound as the primary medium.  

A systematic approach must be employed to ensure the efficiency and ethical integrity of the data collection and organisation process to achieve success. 

Collecting and organising data is critical in the curatorial process, particularly for projects that aim to unearth underrepresented histories specific to location and employ sound as the primary medium.  

A systematic approach must be employed to ensure the efficiency and ethical integrity of the data collection and organisation process to achieve success. 

3.1. Identify and Engage with Archive Administrators 
Initiate the process by identifying potential archival sources, both established and non-established, that could contain relevant information for the project. They could include traditional archives like national or local libraries, museums, universities, and non-traditional or community-based archives. 

Reach out to the administrators of these archives to discuss the project and determine the feasibility of accessing their collections. Ensure that access guidelines are adhered to and respect any restrictions in place. 

Consider the ethical implications of the research. The data collated may contain sensitive or personal information, so handling it with respect and discretion is crucial. Always seek the necessary permissions and adhere to privacy laws and ethical guidelines. 

Here is an example of a workflow for this stage of the process: 

Identify Potential Sources: 

Compile a list of possible archives and collections. 

Initial Contact:  

Reach out to the archive administrators to introduce the project and request access to relevant collections. 

Ethics Check: 

Ensure the research plan respects privacy laws and ethical guidelines. Seek necessary permissions for data access and use. 

3.2. Select and Organise Information

Once access to the archives is authorised, select relevant data for the project. Be systematic and thorough in the search, and record where each piece of data is stored. 

When organising the data, follow established archival principles. Consider using a standard system like the Dewey Decimal System or Library of Congress Classification, which can make the data easier to navigate and reference. 

Indexing is a critical aspect of data organisation. Each piece of data should be indexed appropriately and tagged with relevant keywords or metadata to facilitate easy retrieval later. 

Regarding digital archiving, take steps to ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of the data. It will include creating backups, using standardised formats, and managing file versions to ensure access is hindered by technological obsolescence.  

Here is a workflow example for this stage of the project: 

Data Selection: Review the collections and select relevant data. 

Data Organisation: Organise the data following archival principles. Make a note of the source for each data piece. 

Indexing: Index and tag each piece of data with relevant keywords or metadata. 

Digital Archiving: Store the data securely in a digital format that ensures long-term preservation and accessibility. These systematic processes ensure that the data is collected and organised efficiently and ethically, providing a solid foundation for the site-specific sound art project. 

4. Artist’s contract and commission brief 
A comprehensive agreement between the commissioning body and the artist and a detailed and uncomplicated commission brief is crucial in outlining expectations, responsibilities, and deliverables. 

4.1. Artist contract 
An artist contract is a legal document that sets out the terms of the commission. It is often negotiated and agreed upon before the start of the commission process. Key components of this contract may include: 

Scope of Work:  

A clear description of what the artist is expected to deliver. It might include the nature of the work, size, medium, or any specific features relevant to the commission. 


Key dates and deadlines, such as the start date, progress review dates, and completion date. 

Fees and Payment Terms:  

Details of how much the artist will be paid, when payments will be made, and the conditions that need to be met for payments to be released.  

Intellectual Property Rights:  

Clarify who owns the rights to the commissioned work and how both parties can use and reproduce it. 


Details of what is expected from the artist and the commissioning body. It could include the artist’s responsibility to deliver the work as per the brief and the commissioning body’s responsibility to provide necessary support or resources. 

Termination Clauses:  

Conditions under which either party can terminate the contract. 

4.2. Commission Brief 
The commission brief is a document provided by the commissioning body that offers detailed guidance for the artist about the project. Critical components may include: 

Project Overview:  

A broad description of the project, including its objectives, the site, and the proposed timeline. 

Project Context:  

Information about the site’s history, community, and relevant social, cultural, or historical themes. 

Project Expectations:  

Detailed expectations for the work, such as its proposed scale, materials employed, anticipated interactions with the site or the public, etc. 

Technical Requirements:  

Any specific technical requirements or limitations, especially important in the context of sound art. 

Project Support:  

Information about what support the commissioning body will provide. It should include financial, technical, logistical, or promotional support. 

Project Budget:

Creating a site-specific sound art commission budget involves careful planning and organisation. It must cover all potential costs, from artist fees to technical requirements and contingency plans. Here is a detailed breakdown of the process: 

Define the Scope of the Project:  

The project’s scope determines the scale of the budget, including the artist’s vision, the location’s demands, and the commission’s duration. 

Itemise Expenditures:  

Break down the budget into various expense categories. Typical sound art commission costs may include the following: 

  • Artist Fees/Honorarium: This could encompass the artist’s time, creative input, and intellectual property rights. As stated, please refer to W.A.G.E or localised artist fee structures for guidance.  
  • Materials & Equipment: Include costs for sound recording and playback equipment, hardware and software needs, and any physical materials for installation. Consider costs for equipment rental or purchase and maintenance. 
  • Production & Installation: Account for costs related to production, such as staff, contractors, transportation, insurance, and any costs associated with installation, such as permits or safety measures. 
  • Maintenance & Running Costs: Consider the costs to maintain the installation over time, such as electricity, regular check-ups, and potential repairs. 
  • Documentation: Include costs for recording, photographing, or documenting the commission. 
  • Marketing & Promotion: Budget for promotional materials, advertisements, social media campaigns, and event costs for the commission’s unveiling. 
  • Contingency: Always allocate a portion of the budget (usually around 10-20%) for unexpected expenses. 

Research Costs:  

For each category, research potential costs thoroughly. Get quotes from vendors, consult experts, and reference past projects. 

Determine Income:  

Identify income sources. It could include grants, sponsorships, donations, or institutional funding. Ensure the total income matches or exceeds the total expenditure. 

Presentation of the Budget:  

Present the budget in a clear, organised manner. It could be in the form of a spreadsheet or a financial software package. Each expenditure category should have a line with a description and the associated cost. Include a total at the bottom.  

If relevant, also detail the income. 

Review and Adjust: 

Regularly review the budget during the project’s lifespan. Adjustments might be needed as quotes become invoices or if unexpected costs arise. 

The budget should be transparent and detailed, showing the allocation of funds. It demonstrates thorough planning and provides a financial roadmap for the commission’s successful execution. 

4.3. Agreements with Stakeholders 
An agreement must be negotiated with various stakeholders involved in or impacted by the project, outlining permissions, roles, responsibilities, and mutual expectations. They can take various forms, from formal legal contracts to informal, community-based agreements. Key components may include: 


This could involve obtaining the necessary permits and permissions for the project, whether from local authorities for the use of public spaces, property owners for private locations, or communities for culturally sensitive areas. It encompasses permissions for any potential physical changes to the site or disruptions to its regular use. 

Participatory Roles:  

In a community-engaged project, it is crucial to outline the roles and responsibilities of community participants. What is their level of involvement? Are they contributors, co-creators, consultants, or audience members? Clarity on these roles can foster a sense of ownership and engagement among participants. 

Use of Site:  

The agreement should specify how and when the site will be used, especially if it is a public or multi-use space. It will involve schedules, noise restrictions, or safety measures to minimise disruption to regular activities. 

Impact Assessment:  

The agreement must recognise and address the project’s potential impacts on the community and the site. It must cover environmental considerations, community sentiment, local economics, or other factors. 

Dispute Resolution:  

Establish a process for resolving potential conflicts or issues that may arise during the project. It will involve appointing a neutral mediator or agreeing on a specific process for negotiation and compromise. 

Communication Plan:  

Stakeholders must be kept informed about the project’s progress. Establish a plan for regular updates, feedback sessions, and opportunities for stakeholders to voice their concerns or suggestions. 

It is important to note that these agreements are not one-size-fits-all. They must be tailored to the project specifics, the site, and the stakeholders involved. Ensuring all parties feel heard, respected, and engaged in the process is crucial. 

The process of commissioning site-specific sound art in inner-city spaces can be complex, involving various stakeholders with different interests and concerns. Effective stakeholder agreements ensure that the project proceeds smoothly, with a sense of shared ownership and purpose. 

5. Documentation framework of commission process 
A well-structured documentation framework for the commission process is essential to curatorial practice. It will allow for a comprehensive record of the journey from conception to completion, enabling reflection, evaluation, and knowledge sharing.  

Here is a more detailed exploration of the suggested steps: 

5.1. Determine the Method of Documentation 
Choosing the suitable method to document the process depends on the nature of the work and the resources available. While transcription of meetings may seem excessive, remember that the objective is to capture as much of the process as possible. However, respecting the artist’s comfort and working style is equally important. Here are some methods: 

Audio or Video Recording: Effectively capture interactions, discussions, and brainstorming sessions. However, respecting the artist’s space is essential, and not letting the recording process hinder creativity. 

Photographic Documentation: Photographs can capture stages of the work’s progress, including sketches, models, or prototypes, and changes in the site. 

Written Documentation: Regular written updates, meeting minutes, or reflective journals can provide a narrative of the process. It could be a shared online document that all parties can access and update. 

5.2. Structure Questions to Evidence Strategies of Knowledge  


The questions asked throughout the process can shape the documentation. Consider how to phrase questions to elicit information about the artist’s thought process, decision-making, problem-solving, and learning: 

  • How has the artist’s understanding of the site influenced the work? 
  • What challenges have the artist encountered, and how have they addressed them? 
  • How have community interactions or feedback influenced the work? 
  • What have the artists learned through this process that they did not know before? 

5.3. Document Collaborative and Context-Responsive Working Process: 
For example, the collaboration between the curator, artist, community, and the site is critical. Documenting this process involves: 

  • Outlining the roles and contributions of each party. 
  • Recording collaborative decision-making or problem-solving processes. 
  • Capturing the evolution of the work as it responds to the site and community input. 

5.4. Establish Ethical Guidelines:

It is crucial to set ethical guidelines concerning intellectual property, confidentiality, and the use of documentation: 

Intellectual Property:

Ensure that rights to the work are clearly defined and agreed upon in advance. It can include the artist’s rights to their work, the curator’s rights to the documentation, and any agreements about reproducing or disseminating the work or documentation. 


If sensitive or personal information is shared during the process, guidelines should clarify what can be included in the documentation and what should remain confidential. 


Everyone involved should understand how the documentation will be used and give their consent, including the artist, community participants, and anyone who may feature in audio, video, or photographic documentation. 

To summarise, the documentation framework of the commission process is not just about creating a record. It is also a tool for reflection, learning, and sharing knowledge about the intricate process of creating site-specific soundworks. 

6. A curatorial site-specific sonic art toolkit for commissioning works 
Determining a commission or a workshop concept in conversation with a commissioned artist requires a collaborative and iterative process. It will begin with an initial brainstorming session, where the curator and artist share ideas and inspirations. During these conversations, the artist’s previous work, their interests, and the themes or concepts they want to explore will be discussed. 

The next stage for the curator will be introducing the project and specific information regarding the site’s history and context via the data set identified for each case study. It will include geographical and sociocultural information, local narratives or histories, the site’s physical attributes, and relevant census information. All these factors will contribute to the context of the commission and shape its direction. 

The discussion then needs to move towards conceptualising the art piece itself, which will involve exploring various sound art forms, formats, and techniques; considering the spatial and temporal dimensions of the work; and thinking about how the piece will engage with audiences, stakeholders, and the site. Throughout the process, the curator must keep in mind the artist’s creative process, agency, and voice to ensure their artistic vision aligns with the project’s overall objectives. 

However, to envision a workshop concept, a different approach is required. It would begin with accruing in-depth information, experiences, and insights about the artist that they are open to sharing. The knowledge exchange could range from technical skills related to sound art to conceptual and interpretive aspects. The potential participants’ experience, interests, and learning level would also require consideration in advance.  

The data set will serve as a fundamental resource throughout the commissioning process. It will be utilised to contextualise the commission and workshop, providing factual information that can help shape the concept. Moreover, it serves as a method to anchor the commission within the real-world contexts of each case study, thus ensuring that the resulting artwork or workshop has a deep connection to the site of investigation. 

It is crucial to remember that this is a dynamic and evolving process. As the commissioned work develops and the artist engages more deeply with the site and the data set, the concept might shift and change—a part of the creative journey that should be embraced. Flexibility, open communication, and ongoing dialogue between the curator and the artist are critical to the successful realisation of the commissioned work. 

6.1. Summary of Tools (alphabetical order)
Please note that more expansive descriptions of each tool feature in the Glossary of Terms.

Active and Critical Listening Techniques 

  • Deep Listening:
  •  A practice that encourages an intense engagement with sound, listening to the source of the sound and its interactions with the environment and personal emotional reactions. 
  • Feminist Listening: A practice that critiques the power dynamics inherent in listening and producing sound, emphasising the underrepresented voices and exploring the intersectionality of sound, gender, and power. 
  • Forensic Listening: Involves the detailed analysis and interpretation of sound recordings for legal investigations, scientific research, or historical inquiries. 
  • Social Listening: It concerns the understanding of social interactions, relationships, and structures through sound, considering how sound contributes to the construction of social realities. 
  • Political Listening: Focuses on how listening is influenced by and reflects political power dynamics, including how certain sounds or voices are privileged or marginalised. 
  • Relational Listening: An empathetic approach to listening that prioritises understanding and connection, recognising that the listener and the sound source are in a reciprocal, interpretative relationship. 

Field Recording 
  • Nature Recording: The practice of recording natural environments, focusing on non-human elements like wildlife sounds, weather phenomena, or the sonic characteristics of a landscape. 
  • Ambient Recording: The capture of background sounds within a specific environment that forms the “sonic backdrop” of that space. 
  • Acousmatic Recording: Sound recording where the source of the sound is unseen, creating a listening experience focused entirely on the sound itself, not the source. 
  • Inner City (urban) Recording: Captures the unique sonic characteristics of inner-city acoustic environments, such as traffic, construction, public spaces, and human activities. 

  • Cognition: Studies how the brain processes and interprets sound information, including perception, memory, and the psychological responses to sound. 
  • Noise: Examines the psychological and physiological effects of noise, considering factors like volume, frequency, and duration. 
  • Sensory: The study of how our sensory systems (e.g., hearing, sight, touch) influence our perception of sound. 

Sound Archives: Media and Documentation 
  • Audio – Human and Non-Human: The collection of sound recordings featuring human-made and non-human sounds, ranging from spoken words to natural soundscapes. 
  • Moving Image – Analogue and Digital: Soundtracks often accompany archival material, including moving-image visuals, traditional film, and digital videos. 
  • Oral Histories – Edited and Unedited: Personal narratives and experiences shared verbally, preserved as valuable historical and cultural records. 
  • Photographic – Analogue and Digital: Still visual images, both physical (film-based) and digital, that often accompany and enrich sound-based works. 
  • Printed Media: Physical, printed materials such as books, leaflets, posters, etc. to provide contextual information. 
  • Sound Design: The art and practice of creating soundtracks for various media, such as films, games, and live performances. 
  • Technological Obsolescence: The phasing out of specific technologies, formats, or mediums, with implications for the preservation and accessibility of certain sound records. 

Sonic Encounters and Mapping 
  • Auditory Diagramming: The visual representation of sound data, providing insights into patterns, relations, and structures within the soundscape. 
  • Internal Sites: Refers to private or personal spaces and their distinct sonic characteristics. 
  • External Sites: Public or communal spaces with their unique soundscapes. 
  • Acoustic Environment (soundscape): The total sonic environment of a location, encompassing natural, human-made, and ambient sounds. 
  • Soundwalks – Audio Walks + Video Walk: Guided explorations of an acoustic environment, often with accompanying recorded audio or video content. 
  • Space: A location’s physical and symbolic dimensions as they relate to sound. 
  • Time: The temporal aspects of an acoustic space, such as rhythms, cycles, or changes over time. 
  • Topographies: The physical features of a location and how they shape its sonic character. 
  • Transitory: Sounds or soundscapes that are temporary or ephemeral. 
  • Town/Inner-City Planning: The planning and design of inner-city spaces, considering (among other factors) the acoustic environment and its impact on inhabitants. 

Sonic Ecologies 
  • Colonial Sound Archives: Sound recordings related to colonial histories and experiences serve as tools for critique and decolonisation. 
  • Economy: The role and value of sound within economic systems, including the commercialisation of sound or its function within labour and production. 
  • Language: The sounds and structures of languages conveyed by humans. 
  • Materialism: The physical and material aspects of sound, including the technologies and mediums of sound production, transmission, and reception. 
  • Music: The role of music in defining boundaries, whether cultural, social, or personal. 
  • Sound Marks: Unique sounds that identify a specific source or location. 
  • Voice: Denotes the complexity of human vocal sounds. Physiologically via vocal cords. Culturally, it signifies the use and perception of voice across various societies, encompassing language and oral traditions. Psychologically, voice expresses emotions, intentions, and personality. Symbolically, it embodies power, identity, or agency. 
  • Writing: The representation or transcription of sound into a written form or the interplay between sound and text. 

Sonic Methodologies
  • Ecological: Approaches that explore sound’s relationship with the environment, considering how sound interacts with and reflects ecological systems. 
  • Ethnography: A research method that documents and analyses sound within its cultural and social context. 
  • Pedagogies: Educational strategies and approaches that utilise or focus on sound. 
  • Protest: The use of sound as a tool for resistance, dissent, or political expression. 
  • Rhythmnanalysis: A method that explores the rhythms and cycles inherent in soundscapes, illuminating their structure and dynamics. 

Spatial Acoustics 
  • Auditory Distance: The perception of distance or space through sound. 
  • Frequencies: The specific pitch or rate of vibration of a sound. 
  • Resonance: The amplification or prolongation of sound by reflection or the synchronous vibration of a neighbouring object. 
  • Reverberations: The reflection of sound waves contributing to a space’s sonic character. 
  • Sound Source – incidental material from recordings: The origin of a sound, which might include unintentional or ‘incidental’ sounds captured during recording. 

7. Determine commission and workshop concepts in conversation with the artist

7.1. Sound Art Commission 
The commissioning of site-specific sound art is an intricate process. It demands effective artist-curator collaboration, a deep comprehension of the artist’s oeuvre, and adept handling of practical constraints. An endeavour is rooted in establishing a curator-artist relationship underpinned by open communication, mutual trust, and respect. 

An intimate knowledge of the artist’s previous works and techniques guides the curation process, and the concept development necessitates a nuanced appreciation of the site’s sociohistorical and environmental aspects to ensure site resonance. Technical viability balanced with creative exploration is a key consideration, as is the potential for audience interaction and contemplation. 

Practical and effective realisation of the artist’s vision involves a process of constructive feedback and negotiation, preserving artistic autonomy while addressing practical demands. Given sound art’s ephemeral nature, documentation and preservation strategies are pivotal, including recording, archiving, and planning for future re-iterations are essential. 

The curator’s role culminates in aiding the public presentation of the artwork, creating informative materials, and ensuring a robust digital presence, leading to a successful commission, fruitful collaboration, and impactful audience engagement.  


7.2. Identify relevant information from the data set for each case study 

Identifying relevant information from a data set for each site-specific case study involves a careful approach that considers the unique aspects of each location and characteristics of the sound art piece. Here is a step-by-step guide: 

Identify the Objectives of the Case Study:  

Start by clarifying the objectives of the case study. For example, try to understand the impact of the sound art on the site’s ambience, evaluate audience engagement, study how the location influenced the creation of the artwork, or analyse another aspect. The commission’s objectives will guide the type of data relevant to the project. 

Collect Background Information:  

Gather background information about the site and the artwork. It will need to include the history of the site, its significance, the demographic of its visitors, and any previous projects related to the site. Remember to consider the artist’s inspiration, process, techniques, and audience responses to the artwork. 

Define Relevant Variables:  

Identify relevant variables to be analysed depending on the case study’s objectives. It could range from demographic data, visitor feedback, environmental impact, or other data sources that provide insight into the study objectives. 

Data Collection Method:  

Determine the most appropriate method for data collection. It could involve surveys, interviews, field observations, sound recordings, or a combination. The chosen methods will depend on the objectives and the data required. 

Data Cleaning:  

Once collected, ensure the data is clean—eliminate errors, inconsistencies, or irrelevant data. This process will help ensure that the analysis is founded on reliable information. 

Analyse the Data:  

This stage could involve statistical analysis, content analysis of qualitative data, or other relevant methods. The analysis should align with the case study objectives and provide insights into the interplay between the site and the sound art. 

Interpret the Results:  

Interpret the results in the context of the case study objectives. Consider the data and the relationship between the site and the sound art, the impact of the sound art on the site or its visitors, or any other objectives the case study has. Draw conclusions based on the data analysis. 

Remember that every case study is unique. Therefore, be ready to adapt this guideline to the particularities of each site and sound art piece, always considering the specific objectives of the case study. 

7.3. Identify relevant tools from Curatorial Toolkit for each case study
Pinpointing applicable components from the curatorial toolkit for individual case studies necessitates a meticulous analysis of each case’s distinct attributes. These unique features must be mapped onto the corresponding strategies and tools within the toolkit. 

In executing this process, the curatorial toolkit must be harnessed to meet the precise demands and address the challenges within each case study. The curatorial strategy necessitates a flexible and responsive attitude and a willingness to amend the deployment of tools and tactics as the project evolves.  

This continual adjustment will optimise the project outcomes by staying in tune with the project’s progress and emergent dynamics. Consequently, not only does the curatorial toolkit offer a robust foundation, but its adaptability ensures it remains an instrumental ally throughout the project’s lifecycle, catering to the specificities of each case study. Here is a detailed outline of that process: 

Understanding the Case Study: 

A deep understanding of the case study at hand is essential. It will require a comprehensive engagement with the context, purpose, key stakeholders, audience, and other specific elements like the site, community, and artist involved. In this case, the consideration of the medium of artwork, a soundwork, and the specifics of its relationship with the site, access, and dissemination.  

Linking with the Curatorial Toolkit:  

Once a clear understanding of the case study has been attained, examine the curatorial toolkit to identify the relevant tools that align with the case’s needs. The curatorial toolkit will contain various components, such as project management strategies, theoretical frameworks, audience engagement tactics, ethical considerations, and specific tools for dealing with sound as a medium, such as acoustics considerations, technological elements, and spatial relationships. 

Match the needs with the tools:  

Identify the needs of the case study with the appropriate tools from the curatorial toolkit. For instance, on this occasion, each case study involves a site-specific sound art project in a Post-War inner-city environment, prompting the need for tools related to community engagement, site-specific curation, sonic methodologies, and archival practices because neither of the sites exists in their original incarnation.  

Review and Refine:  

Continuously review the relevance of the selected tools as the project progresses. A curatorial toolkit is not a fixed set of rules but a flexible guide that should adapt to the project’s changing needs. As more insights into the case study are gained, the tools employed from the toolkit should be refined accordingly. 

7.4. Aims and Objectives of active listening evaluation workshop 
A critical listening workshop is designed with specific aims and objectives in mind to guide its planning and execution. The following are some key goals to consider. 

Aims of the Active Listening Workshop:

  • To develop participants’ understanding of the multidimensionality of sound, its implications, and applications in site-specific sound art. 
  • To cultivate critical listening skills, enabling participants to analyse and appreciate sound art on a deeper level. 
  • To foster an environment of collaborative learning and shared knowledge, promoting discussions and debates around sound art and its intersections with social, cultural, and inner-city contexts. 

Objectives of the Active Listening Workshop: 

Understanding Sound:  

The workshop should educate participants about the basics of sound, sound art, and its role in site-specific installations. It will include understanding sound’s physical properties, its cultural interpretations, and its potential as a medium for artistic expression. 

Critical Listening Skills:  

Through various activities and discussions, the workshop should help participants develop their critical listening skills. It will include understanding how to listen attentively and analytically, identifying and interpreting different sound elements, and evaluating their impact on the overall perception of a sound art piece. 

Engaging Discussions: 

The workshop will create a space for participants to engage in discussions about their listening experiences, encouraging them to share their insights and interpretations. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss broader themes and issues related to sound art, including its role in challenging social norms, shaping inner-city environments, or preserving cultural histories. 

Practical Applications: 

Finally, the workshop will instruct participants on applying their recently acquired knowledge and skills. This may encompass activities such as crafting their own miniature sound art pieces, critically analysing existing works, or contributing to the design of a hypothetical site-specific soundwork. 

Ultimately, the objective is to ensure that participants depart the workshop with a deepened comprehension of sound art and active listening, coupled with an augmented capacity to engage critically and creatively. 

8. Ethical working processes with project stakeholders and the general public 
Adopting an ethical approach in collaborating with stakeholders and the public is imperative. It entails prioritising respect, inclusivity, safety, and transparent communication at the core of all project management activities. Implementing such an approach fosters a diversity of perspectives and experiences, enriching both the curation and delivery of the project while nurturing a sense of shared ownership and pride within the community. This shared commitment contributes to the project’s long-term sustainability and impact. 

Outreach Protocols: Initiating outreach protocols marks one of the initial steps in any curatorial or community-based project. This may involve various activities, such as public meetings, open forums, or online surveys, aimed at inviting input, participation, and feedback from diverse stakeholders to ensure their voices and perspectives are acknowledged and valued. 

Maintaining Relationships: Fostering and maintaining harmonious relationships is integral when working with stakeholders and the public. Communication should be open, regular, respectful, and transparent. As a curator or project leader, demonstrating genuine interest and appreciation for the diverse perspectives and experiences that stakeholders bring to the project is crucial. 

Recognising Hierarchies: Acknowledging and respecting existing hierarchies is essential when collaborating with both established and non-established organisations. Understanding the power dynamics within these organisations helps navigate and manage relationships effectively while ensuring that all voices, particularly those from marginalised or underrepresented groups, are given equal consideration. 

Health & Safety: Prioritising health and safety is paramount in any project. All projects must adhere to local and national health and safety regulations, including conducting risk assessments, establishing emergency protocols, and ensuring that all participants are briefed and equipped to maintain a safe environment. 

Access Protocols: Projects should strive for inclusivity and accessibility by considering factors such as physical accessibility for people with disabilities, language barriers, cultural sensitivities, and digital access for online project elements. Making accommodations and offering alternative formats ensures broader reach and engagement with the project by a more diverse audience. 

9. Finalising Commissions 

9.1. Signing-Off Process with Artist 

Once the artwork is complete, the curator and the commissioning body engage in a signing-off process. This step entails a final review of the artwork to ensure alignment with the commission’s objectives and the artist’s vision. An integral component of this process is feedback, which can offer valuable insights for future commissions. The feedback should be constructive, respectful, and grounded in the agreed-upon criteria outlined in the commission brief. 

9.2. Finalising Technical Specifications for Digital Publishing 
Upon finalisation of an artwork for public dissemination, the curator is obligated to complete the technical specifications for digital publishing. This encompasses ensuring that all digital files conform to the requisite standards for quality, compatibility, and accessibility. Such specifications may entail resolution, file format, metadata, and other pertinent technical particulars pertinent to the digital platform. 

9.3. Accreditation 
Accreditation constitutes a fundamental component of curatorial practice. It is imperative to ensure that all contributors are appropriately credited, thereby acknowledging their contributions and upholding intellectual property rights. Accreditation information generally encompasses the names of the artist(s), collaborators, funders, the commissioning body, and any other individuals or organisations that contributed to the project. 

10. Working with a Graphic Designer and Web Developer 
10.1. Project Visual Identity
The visual identity serves as the outward manifestation of the commission, mirroring its fundamental values and themes. Graphic designers play a pivotal role in crafting a unified visual identity across print and digital distribution platforms, encompassing websites and social media. They collaborate with colour, typography, imagery, and layout to forge a compelling and recognisable visual language. 

10.2. Website Design
Website design constitutes a pivotal element of digital distribution in a sound art curatorial project. The website must exhibit visual engagement, ease of navigation, and comprehensive information regarding the project. Web developers are obligated to ensure the website's technical integrity, including responsive design for varied devices and optimal performance to enhance user experience. The curator must collaborate with the graphic designer to translate the project’s visual identity into a functional and captivating online presence. 

In summary, the finalisation of commissions entails a systematic review and approval process, meticulous attention to technical specifications for digital dissemination, appropriate accreditation, and close collaboration with graphic designers and web developers to guarantee a robust and unified visual identity across all distribution platforms. 

11. Installation, broadcast and launch of sound art commissions  
11.1. Seek Permissions 
Before installation, permissions must be obtained for each location where related visual material or QR codes will be placed. These permissions, primarily available from property owners or local authorities, are essential to mitigate legal risks and ensure a proficient installation process. 

11.2. Oversee installation (if applicable)
 The curator attends the installation process to ensure alignment with the artist’s vision and the project’s requirements. The curator assumes responsibility for managing potential problems and effecting necessary adjustments, communicating at each stage of the installation with technical staff and local authorities (if applicable) to meet the artist's requirements and ambitions, while acknowledging the budget and considering the impact on stakeholders, project funders, and other relevant parties. 

11.3. Social Media Promotion 
Social media platforms are potent instruments for promoting sound art commissions. Through collaboration with a digital marketing specialist, the curator can harness various platforms to broaden audience reach, spark interest, and foster engagement, all while ensuring that posted content avoids causing offense to wider communities. 

Using social media as a communication and connection tool requires careful consideration of legal ramifications, particularly regarding offensive language or content. Below are guidelines to navigate social media use while avoiding offensive language or content from a legal standpoint: 

Understanding Platform Terms: Familiarise yourself with the terms of service of the social media platform being used. These terms often delineate acceptable behaviour and content standards. 

Thoughtful Posting: Prior to posting, contemplate the potential impact of the content and consider whether it could be construed as offensive or inflammatory. 

Respect for Diverse Opinions: Recognise social media as a space for diverse viewpoints. Respect others' opinions, refraining from engaging in heated arguments or using disrespectful or offensive language. 

Utilisation of Filters and Privacy Settings: Employ privacy settings and filters to control post visibility and online interactions. This can mitigate the risk of encountering offensive language or behaviour. 

Reporting Offensive Content: If offensive content is encountered, promptly report it to platform administrators. Many platforms offer mechanisms for reporting abusive or inappropriate behaviour. 

Continuous Education: Stay informed about pertinent laws and regulations concerning online conduct and speech. Understanding the legal landscape aids in navigating social media effectively and avoiding legal pitfalls. 

Here are social media practices to avoid: 

Harassment and Bullying: Avoid using social media for harassment, bullying, or intimidation, including language targeting individuals or groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. 

Sharing Offensive Content: Refrain from sharing or reposting content containing offensive language or imagery, as this may have legal consequences if it violates laws or platform terms of service. 

Use of Hate Speech: Eschew hate speech, which targets individuals or groups based on protected characteristics, as it may not only be offensive but also illegal in many jurisdictions. 

Incitement of Violence: Abstain from using social media to incite violence or advocate for illegal activities, as such actions can lead to severe legal repercussions. 

Assumption of Anonymity: Even under anonymity, actions and words on social media can be traced back. Avoid using offensive language or engaging in inappropriate behaviour under the assumption of anonymity. 

Ignoring Consequences: Acknowledge the potential legal ramifications of offensive language or inappropriate behaviour on social media, ranging from platform bans to civil or criminal charges. 

Adhering to these guidelines ensures that social media usage remains respectful, responsible, and legally compliant. 

11.4. Determine Media Platforms
Selecting the most suitable media platforms depends on the commission’s target audience and the nature of the artwork. It can involve a combination of online and offline media, including websites, social media, radio, print, television, and digital streaming platforms.  

11.5. Press Text 
Press texts are vital promotional tools. Two types of press texts are required - a short press text (150-250 words) should provide a concise overview of the commission, including its title, the artist’s name, dates, and a brief description. A long press text (500-750 words) offers a more detailed exploration, covering the commission’s concept, context, significance, and background information about the artist. 

11.6. Publication of Commissions
Publishing the commissions involves presenting the completed artworks to the public. It can occur through various channels, from digital platforms to physical spaces, and may include public exhibitions, online galleries, or printed publications. 

11.7. Upload to Website
The completed sound art commissions should be uploaded onto the project’s website to ensure they are accessible for audiences to experience. This should include accreditation, supporting information, and interactive elements, such as QR codes, if and where appropriate. 

11.8. Broadcast via Independent Platforms 
Broadcasting sound art commissions on independent platforms can help reach a wider audience. It can involve collaborations with radio stations, podcasts, or other audio platforms that align with the commission’s theme and audience. 

12. Final assessment of sound art commission and critical listening workshop

12.1. Compile artist’s feedback. 

Collecting feedback from artists requires a sensitive approach that respects their unique perspectives and experiences. A variety of methodologies outlined below can be applied: 

One-on-One Interviews/Appraisals:  

Conducting in-depth interviews/appraisals enables the artist to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to the commissioned work. These interviews should be semi-structured, allowing for flexibility in the discussion while ensuring that key topics are covered. Employ open-ended questions to encourage the artist to delve deeper into their experiences. 

Self-Reflection Reports:  

Requesting written self-reflection from the artist can also provide insightful feedback. This process allows the artist to reflect on their experience in their own time and words, capturing nuances that might not emerge in an interview. 

Peer Review:  

Inviting feedback from other artists, especially those within the same discipline, can provide valuable perspective. A peer can provide unique insights into the creative process, technical execution, and concept realisation that others might miss. 

Observational Studies:  

Observe the artist during the creative process and note any difficulties or successes they experience. This approach can provide valuable insights into the practical and logistical aspects of creating the art piece. 

Surveys or Questionnaires:  

While more quantitative, surveys can collect specific feedback. These could include rating scales on various aspects of the commissioning process, satisfaction levels, or perceived areas for improvement. 

Post-Project Debriefing Sessions:  

These sessions can combine group discussions (with curators, supporting staff, etc.) and individual conversations. They allow the artist to reflect on their experiences, what they learned, and what they might do differently going forward. 

Digital Engagement:  

If the artist maintains a blog or social media presence, feedback can be gleaned from the posts, comments, or interactions related to the commissioned work. 

All these methodologies can be adapted based on the specific context of the sound art commission and the artist’s preferences. Combining these methodologies will ultimately provide a rich, multi-dimensional view of the artist’s feedback. 

12.2. Collate and organise audience feedback.
Collecting and organising audience feedback for a sound art commission requires a systematic approach. It involves a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and can incorporate several stages: 

Define Objectives:  

Defining the objectives at the outset of feedback collection is essential, as it influences the type of information gathered and its subsequent analysis.  

Predetermined objectives, which commonly include assessing audience engagement, gaining insights into emotional responses, or evaluating overall audience experience, play a key role in shaping the nature and structure of feedback sought. 

Design Feedback Collection Tools: 

Surveys and questionnaires can effectively collect structured feedback, allowing data collection on specific questions. These tools can include open-ended questions (to capture qualitative data) and Likert scale questions (to capture quantitative data). 

Interviews and Focus Groups:  

Consider conducting interviews or focus groups for more in-depth, qualitative feedback. This approach allows for a deeper exploration of audience responses, but it can be more time-consuming and requires skilled facilitators. 

Observational Data:  

Observing how audiences interact with sound art can provide valuable insights. Note behaviours such as how long audiences stay, their body language, and whether they interact with the artwork in expected or unexpected ways. This form of analysis is impossible to collate if the commissions are broadcast or distributed via playback media for private use.  

Social Media and Online Reviews:  

Monitor social media mentions and reviews to gather additional feedback. This data can provide insight into spontaneous reactions and discussions among the audience. 

Data Organisation and Analysis:  

Collate and categorise the feedback collected. Qualitative data can be analysed thematically, while quantitative data can be statistically analysed. Different types of Software can be employed to help with organising qualitative data and quantitative analysis. 


Finally, share the results to align with the initial objectives. The presentation could include identifying common themes, highlighting particularly insightful feedback, and noting demographic or other differences in audience responses. 

Remember, collecting and organising audience feedback is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It should be tailored to fit the specific needs and context of the sound art commission, the intended audience, and the project’s goals. 

12.3. Collate audience figures from radio broadcasts and social media impressions. 

Gathering audience figures from radio broadcasts and social media platforms requires different methodologies due to the availability of different data types on each platform. Here is a breakdown of how to collate this information: 

Radio Broadcasts:

Traditional analogue broadcast media like radio can be more challenging to measure, but several strategies are available: 

Rating Services:  

RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd) was set up in 1992 to align, design and operate a single audience measurement system for the UK radio industry serving the BBC and other licensed commercial stations. Data is collected through methods like listener diaries or Portable People Meters (PPMs), devices worn by survey participants to automatically detect and log what stations they’re listening to. 

Online Streaming:  

Many radio stations also broadcast online, which allows for more precise measurements. Stations can track the number of active online listeners at any given time, usually through their streaming service provider. 

Social Media Impressions: 

Social media platforms offer various ways to measure audience engagement: 

Platform-Specific Analytics: Every central social media platform offers native analytics tools. For example, Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc. These tools can provide a wealth of information about post impressions (the number of times a post is displayed), reach (the number of unique users who saw the post), engagement (likes, comments, shares), and more. 

Third-Party Tools: 

There are also third-party social media analytics tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Buffer, which can consolidate data from multiple platforms into a single dashboard. It can be particularly helpful in managing multiple accounts across various platforms. 

URL Trackers:  

When sharing links on social media, tools like Google’s Campaign URL Builder can help to create tracked URLs. Combined with Google Analytics, it allows you to identify how many users clicked on the links via social media and how they navigated the website. 

Interpreting the data gathered regarding the overall goals and strategy for the project is important. For instance, are you aiming to maximise reach, drive engagement, or convert social media followers into website visitors or audiences engaged with sound art or historical sites? Each of these goals may require a different approach to data analysis.