Since 2005 Simon Whetham has developed a practice of working with sonic activity as a raw material for creation. He uses environmental sound, employing a variety of methods and techniques in order to obtain often unnoticed and obscured sonic phenomena. When presenting work in a performance or installation, for him the space and the objects within become instruments to be played.
His artistic investigations have caused him to work increasingly in multi-disciplinary projects, leading his work to become more visual and tangible. He is currently exploring ways to retain physical traces of sound and transforming energy forms.
Whetham performs and exhibits internationally, participating in Fresh Winds Biennale 2018 & 2016 (IS), Nakanojo Biennale 2017 (JP), ACC Showcase 2018 (KR), Tsonami Festival 2017 & 2012 (CL), Madeiradig 2010 & 2011 (PT) and Moers Festival 2011 (DE); has a large number of works published through many specialist record labels including Mappa (SK), Crónica (PT) and Line (USA) and collaborates with dancers, musicians, performers, painters and video artists.
Collaborations with sound artists/musicians include long term projects with Tarab (Eamon Sprod) and Gregory Büttner, and past collaborators include Scanner, Derek Piotr, Iris Garrelfs, John Grzinich, Ryu Hankil, Xenia Pestova, Alan Courtis, Kate Carr, Rhodri Davies, Christine Schörkhuber and Slavek Kwi.
Noteworthy projects which Whetham was the sound designer for are: “Vestiges of Disappear” by Park Jin Young which won Best Dance Video at the Imajitari Festival, Jakarta in 2018 and was selected for exhibition by the Royal Scottish Academy, UK; and “Between the Walls of Eden” by Scarlett Rouge and Saulo Madrid, featuring Michelle Lamy. The project has been presented at: Diane Pernet’s ASVOFF Ten, Fashion Film Festival, Paris, France 2018 and Rome, Italy 2018; Volta Art Fair, NYC, USA 2017; 57th Venice Biennale 2017, Italy; Artissima, Turin, Italy 2016; Le Germain, Private Screening, Paris, France 2016.
Whetham has received a large number of commissions and awards for projects and installations – twice he received the Grant for the Arts from the Arts Council England, the first to attend the Mamori Sound Project in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, 2007, and the second to curate and organise the cultural exchange project 'Active Crossover' that has continued to run since 2009.
The most recent iteration of 'Active Crossover' was hosted by MoKS in Mooste, Estonia in 2015, supported by the Artists International Development Grant from the British Council and Arts Council England. For two months Simon was joined by 14 international artists in sonic investigation, discussion and creation of new working relationships.
'Activer Crossover' was also supported by the PRS for Music Foundation to tour in the UK through 2011 and has been hosted in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Norway and Australia.
Simon's practice also covers giving active listening and field recording workshops internationally (most recently in South Korea, UK and Taiwan). This includes workshops for children and young people, which began in Medellín, Colombia in 2013, and has led to larger projects in Norway and Australia, and with unaccompanied minors in a refugee camp in Munich, Germany in 2014.