Chicago Phonography

Created in the summer of 2008, Chicago Phonography is a loose collective of artists interested in promoting creative activity in listening by producing and broadcasting unprocessed field recordings as an ensemble, in the context of live improvisation. Motivated by the maxim "nature performs and we provide the secretarial services" (R. Murray Schafer The Tuning of the World)-along with John Cage's theories of chance operation, the cut up method of Brion Gysin, and fellow field recorders The Seattle Phongraphers Union-Chicago Phonography seeks not to enliven or enhance reality, but rather to solicit a closer examination of Chicago's aural environment from the listener.

By choice, very little effort is given by member's of the collective towards assembling a unified or authoritative definition of the term field recording and in fact, if a discussion were to take place about what it is that makes a recording a field recording, a certain amount of dissention might occur among the ranks. Chicago Phonography seeks only to edify an aural anthropology, and through performance articulate the North American urban ambience, i.e. the increasing congestion of the modern metropolis, the alarming lack of human control over modern technology, and the pressing need to restore organic balance to everyday living. You can find out more about Chicago Phonography by visiting

Chicago Phonography will perform on October 3 at Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery. During their performance, Chicago Phonography will cross-pollinate auditory snapshots with visiting phonographers from outside of Chicago (including Steve Barsotti from The Seattle Phonographers Union), as well as with phonographers abroad, who will be streaming via the internet using real-time environmental audio from locations as far away as the Netherlands.