Sound as Art Medium


Happy to share that the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, Diliman through our Department of Studio Arts is now offering an elective called “Sound as Art Media” (SFA192 SA).



This is a project that I have been working on since 2015, and one of the first things I proposed upon my return to UP in 2020 from study leave.  It received unequivocal support from the past chair of the Department of Studio Arts (DSA), Prof. Leo Abaya+, from the chair of my home unit, the Department of Theory, Prof. Dakila Fernando, and College of Fine Arts Dean Mitzi Reyes. On Prof. Abaya’s untimely passing in May, Profs. Jamel Obnamia and Katti Sta. Anna, then OICs of the DSA, and Prof. Riza Romero, new chair, saw through the arrangements that Prof. Abaya and I have started.


SFA192 SA is a 2-part elective, with the first one focused on analogue and the second one on digital technology. I am piloting this course this incoming semester along with my good friend and colleague from the sound practice, Tad Ermitaño. I will do lectures, discussions, and workshops on history of sound art, ecology of sound practice, survey of works and fundamentals of sound art. Tad will handle a multi-session workshop to produce 2 sound art works. The course is designed however that anyone who have done sufficient literature review on sound art, sound cultures, sound technologies, listening, whether from the perspective of art history, art studies, media studies or cultural studies, may be able to handle the part I am handling. And those who have body of works, with sustained practice engaged with the community maybe able to handle the part Tad is handling.  



Tad, as we know, have been in this practice, primarily as an artist, since the late 1980s. From my end, it had only been a decade practice as curator, and occasionally as artist, but with extensive focus on researching on the practice’s history and ecology. While our combined experience and knowledge maybe sufficient to launch an elective now, we remain aware that the inquiry on sound art, as an academic interest in the Philippines is at its infancy; while, elsewhere, inquiry on sound art has been an active academic preoccupation for more than a decade now. From either end (here and over there), our claims and proposals may be or will be questioned and put to tests. Our theorisation may be or will be found wanting. We recognise that standing in this precarious border of presenting a new conversation here, while at the same time joining an ongoing conversation over there, is a journey that requires us to keep at it—to keep on learning.


With this engagement with younger creatives we hope to continue to better understand our practice, and be able to articulate a more accurate pedagogical/ theoretical representation/ interpretations of it. In the end what we hope to contribute is an avenue where we can reflect on our practice, individually and as a collective, to enable us to plan for or imagine our futures. 



Besides those already mentioned above, I am indebted to Agnes Arellano, Datu Arellano, Teresa Barrozo, Michael Brewster+, Ringo Bunoan, Lena Cobangbang, Leslie Anne Cao, Erick Calilan, Chexx Casauay, Cheuk Wing Nam, Gerecho Iniel Cruz, Pauline Despi, Tad Ermitaño, Merv Espina, Cdrik Fermont, Jing Garcia, Cris Garcimo, Katya Guerrero, Jett Ilagan, IC Jaucian, Mark Laccay, Linda Lai, Fiona Lee, Malek Lopez, Mark Rambo Macatangay, Mico Manalo, Anson Mak, Cedric Meridet, Joee Mejias, Armi Millare, Yukie Mitomi, Maria Christine Muyco, Arvin Nogueras, Pablo/Post, Eileen and Claro Ramirez, Jon Romero, Erwin Romulo, Fred Sandoval, Lirio Salvador at Mary Ann Salvador, Judy Sibayan, John Sobrepeña, Tengal, Magyar Tuason, Richard John Tuason, Wire Tuazon, Tetsuya Umeda, Vinyl-on-Vinyl, Ah Kwok Wong, Dennis Wong, Yang Yeung and Samson Young.