Research Collaborator, Concordia University
Since the mid 1990s, Andra McCartney has been developing an approach to the creation of electroacoustic soundwalk art which features reflexivity studies as an important aspect of the work, integrating audience responses into the creative development of walks and installations. Through her background in ethnomusicology, communication, and cultural studies, she thinks and writes about electroacoustic, sound art and sound recording fields as cultures, considering what kinds of interpretive routines are acceptable within these disciplines, and how aesthetic and professional discourses are established. Reflexivity studies are used as one element in an analytical toolbox that also includes gestalt analysis influenced by composer and theorist James Tenney, discourse analysis of texts and CD productions, and participant observation through her role as a sound artist, as a way to understand how these sub-cultures function. McCartney employs these insights in the creation of conceptual interactive sound work that investigates how artists, audiences, and apparati such as technologies and discourses, interact dialogically. Her work transforms soundwalk experiences into interactive installations, produced collaboratively in recent years with interactive artist Don Sinclair, Professor of Fine Arts at York University in Toronto. She is especially interested in questions of gender in relation to sound technologies. The In and Out of the Sound Studio research project investigates the working practices of soundmakers from a range of different professions, focusing particularly on the work of prominent women soundmakers. Her current research project, Soundwalking Interactions, is funded by the Quebec Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, 2010-2013. She has many online articles and projects available from the andrasound.org website.