Duncan Whitley (born UK, 1974) is an artist working with sound and the moving-image. His practice synthesises the languages of cinema, documentary and spatial sound art. He is currently Filmmaker in Residence at University of Warwick’s Film and Television Studies.
He has presented site-specific projects, audiovisual works and live multichannel sound works in the UK and internationally. His audiovisual works have been exhibited at Aesthetica Film Festival, Coventry Biennial, Cafe OTO, Flatpack Film Festival, Whitechapel Gallery, The Whitworth, Centro de Arte Experimental de UNSAM (Buenos Aires), EMASESA (Seville), Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, and b-side Festival (Portland, UK).
CV & Education
BA Intermedia Fine Art
1st Class Honours, Kingston University, 1996 – 1999.
BTEC National Certificate Music Technology
Distinction, Thames Valley College, London, 1995 – 1996.
artist residencies & commissions
Filmmaker in Residence at Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick (Oct 2022- Sept 2023).
Phoenix City 2021, Film commission for Coventry Biennial (2021).
Coventry Biennial artist in residence at Coventry University (April 2019 – December 2020)
Artistic research into UK City of Culture as Coventry builds towards UK City of Culture 2021, and development of audiovisual work Phoenix City 2021 for exhibition during Coventry Biennial 2021. Interim outcomes to date include the Phoenix City Convergence – a symposium and curated programme of artists’ moving-image works exploring the discourse underpinning European Capital of Culture and UK City of Culture, featuring contributions from Cara Courage (Head of Tate Exchange), Mike Stubbs (ex-Director and C.E.O. FACT Liverpool) and others.
La Criatura Intermedia / The Creature in Between (October 2016 - November 2016)
Artist residency centred on a 10-day colaboratorio at a wichí community & cultural centre in north Argentina. The colaboratorio involved the participation of artists Claudia Fontes (sculpture), Elba Bairron (sculpture), Guadalupe Miles (photography), Mateo Carabajal (hacker) and members of the wichí community.
This is Highfield Road, commission for SARU (Sonic Arts Research Unit), Oxford Brookes University (December 2016 – July 2017)
Production of an online sound archive exploring the semiotics of football crowd sound and chant. Commissioned as an online project making the subject of acoustic communication accessible and intuitive to diverse audiences. The archive contains 141 binaural sound recordings, edited from over 1000 minutes of original recordings, searchable via match timelines or advanced search mechanisms.
Writing of Stones (September 2013 – September 2014)
Artist residency and commission based at St Georges Church on the Isle of Portland, in rural Dorset (UK). Development of a site-specific, multi-channel spatial sound installation at the C18th historic church, for the 10-day b-side Festival 2014. Outputs also included a multi-channel concert performance of Writing of Stones, and a curator conversation with Dr. Cecilia Wee.
Os Cuatro Pastores / Four Shepherds (June 2011 – July 2011)
Artist residency in rural goat-herding community of Covas do Monte, Portugal. Development of a four-channel documentary sound work, produced with community goat-herders of the village. The work was centred on the relationships between the local shepherds, landscape, and the Iberian wolf. Outputs included a performance of the multi-channel sound work, and a public meeting with Portuguese national conservation group for the protection of the Iberian wolf, O Grupo Lobo.
Kimberlin (2019) 24mins
An experimental film produced on the Isle of Portland during the months following the United Kingdom’s European Union membership referendum. With a bleak electronic soundtrack scored in collaboration with musician Abul Mogard, the film, whose title derives from Portland local dialect for outsider or “foreigner”, explores the psyche of divided and politically manipulated society. Featured in the Official Selection of Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2019. Abul Mogard soundtrack released on vinyl LP by Ecstatic Recordings.
Things Fall Apart (2017) 17mins
A part-documentary film depicting a disenfranchised community and their local battle for the intangible values of place, identity and belonging, in which a major international hedge fund appears to hold the cards. Set in the heart of the West Midlands, the film follows a group of football supporters in Coventry, as their club is uprooted from the city during a dispute over a stadium and casino complex involving a local charity, the city council and the hedge fund owners of the football club.
Between the Orange Trees and the Lime / Entre Naranjos y Cal (2017) 17mins
An experimental film with multi-channel soundtrack exploring the resonances of flamenco singer Pepe Peregil’s voice after his death, in the Plaza Museo of Seville’s old town. Recorded entirely in the Plaza Museo during the Semana Santa processions of 2011 to 2015. Output from research and artistic & ethnographic work focused on the acoustic communication of the Semana Santa in Seville, and in particular the flamenco saetas sung in public spaces during Holy Week.
Sbarbi’s Arrow (2013) 14mins
An experimental animated film set in the Plaza Molviedro of Seville, during the city’s Palm Sunday processions. The film is scored by an unedited documentary sound recording from the Plaza, in which the religious effigy of Christ is welcomed to the intense flamenco-marching brass of the Virgen de los Reyes band. Output from research and artistic & ethnographic work focused on the acoustic communication of the Semana Santa in Seville.
exhibitions, screenings, performances
Vibrational Worldings (Songs of Entanglement), Cafe OTO. Premiere of sound composition Caller of the Winds, at this event curated by helen Frosi and Cafe OTO.
Kimberlin. Installation at Royal Manor Theatre, Portland, during b-side Festival 2022. The version of Kimberlin exhibited for b-side was a new cut of the film, premiered for friends and family of those who had participated in the making of Kimberlin.
Phoenix City 2021. Exhibited in Coventry Biennial at Herbert Art Gallery, during UK City of Culture 2021 in Coventry. Additional screening at the Box, Fargo Village, with live-mixed soundtrack, Q&A with Sarah Shalgosky (Mead Gallery).
Kimberlin. Screenings at Aesthetica Short Film Festival (York) and UK Premiere event at Cafe OTO (London)
G. D. Parada. Glass Tank Gallery, Oxford Brookes University
Multi-channel sound and video installation.
Things Fall Apart. Screening at Flatpack Film Festival (Birmingham)
Things Fall Apart. Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, Coventry
Film and sound installation, participatory museum of protest.
Things Fall Apart. UK Premiere screening at Whitechapel Gallery (London)
El Llamador del Viento / The Caller of the Winds. Bienal de Curitiba, Curitiba (BR)
Collaborative sound piece with Mawó Mendoza. Invited artist as part of “Tiluk”, by Guadalupe Miles.
El Llamador del Viento / The Caller of the Winds. Audioguide for “Slow Bird” by Claudia Fontes, São Paulo Biennial (BR)
Between the Orange Trees and the Lime. Screening events at EMASESA and Consejo de Hermandades de Sevilla (Seville, ES)
Organised with Association of Friends of Pepe Peregil.
Fonografías. Monte, Buenos Aires (AR).
Presentation of sound works & artist talk.
Museo de Bellas Artes, Salta (AR).
Screenings & artist talk, hosted by Prof. Hernán Ulm.
Comunidades Sonoras. Centro de Arte Experimental de la UNSAM, Buenos Aires (AR)
Multi-channel sound performance & artist talk.
Writing of Stones. St. George’s Church, Isle of Portland.
Site-specific spatial sound work at C18th church.
Sbarbi’s Arrow. Soundfjord (London)
Solo exhibition and programme of associated events featuring guest practitioners and researchers including Angus Carlyle, Noel Lobley, Rosalind Fowler, Jez riley French, Doc Rowe, David Toop, and John Wynne.
Four Shepherds. Goldsmiths University (London)
A concert of multi-channel sound work hosted by Goldsmith’s Unit for Sound Practice Research / Electronic Music Studios
Four Shepherds. Covas do Monte (PT)
Four-channel sound work hosted by Binaural / Nodar Residency Centre
Sussex by the Sea / G. D. Parada. Museu Serralves, Porto (PT)
Multi-channel sound installations in group show Documenta-Se, curated by Pedro Rocha.
Pont Sonor. Territoire de Belfort (FR) / Porrentruy (CH)
Artist residency between the Swiss-French border. Culminating in live, site-responsive spatial sound event at Chateau Morimont (Alsace).