Curtis Tamm

The School of Visual Art and Design’s Artist-in-Residence

Spring 2019


Curtis Tamm (b. 1987) is a researcher and sound artist who has spent time in disaster prone landscapes; places such as the highlands of Iceland, the Santorini caldera in Greece, Mexico City, all throughout Japan. Through field-recordings in these locations and other forms of acoustemological fieldwork, he develops multi-channel sound installations and performances. He received his MFA in Design | Media Arts from the University of California—Los Angeles in 2014. His debut solo exhibition, Spelling for Protection Against Oneself, is currently on view at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan.⠀⠀⠀

For his artist residency with the School of Visual Art and Design, Tamm is hosting the Ecosophical Listening Lab at Stormwater Studios:

"As a speculative educational center within the School of Visual Arts and Design at the University of South Carolina, the Ecosophical Listening Lab is designed to facilitate the creation of new sound-art works which push and challenge our ideas of what constitutes being human, and being non-human.

It is a space for composting; be it the post-production of new environmental field-recordings into composed soundscapes, or, the ecology of ideas that captured sound conjures within the mind, into a fertilizer for new philosophies (i.e. ecosophy, or echo-sophy).

 It is a space for encountering thresholds; Ecosophical Listening Lab offers free sonic services of disorientation for the urban dwellers of Columbia, SC; reservation based, one-one-one, deep-listening sessions consisting of unique multi-channel sound work developed in geologically unpredictable landscapes. From the highlands of Iceland, the volcanic plateau of Yellowstone, Ibaraki prefecture and Tokyo, Japan, to Nea Kameni crater housed within the Santorini caldera, Greece, and on and on and on...”

At the Ecosophical Listening Lab you can reserve time with Tamm to be guided through one-on-one improvised performances with his immense library of field-recordings. Tamm considers the intimacy and viscerality of these deep-listening sessions (a term compounded by composer Pauline Oliveros) as a way to reevaluate our relationship to disorientation, as a sensory enhancing opportunity. The term ‘ecosophy’ references the three interweaving ecologies of the mental, environmental, and social, which anthropologist Gregory Bateson first proposed, which were then later remixed by ‘chaosophist’ Felix Guattari as being the underlying components within which emerges our subjectivity.  

To make your reservation, or to learn more about the Ecosophical Listening Lab, write to:

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events and workshops

Third Thursday Open Studios: March 21st, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
SVAD Studio at Stormwater Studios

Ecosophical Listening Lab: Ongoing
Make a reservation

Columbia Open Studios: April 6th (10 am - 5pm) and April 7th (12pm-5pm)
SVAD Studio at Stormwater Studios


The SVAD Studio at Stormwater Studios is supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Central Carolina Community Foundation. ⠀