testing ground for art & ecology
Research program

Polyphonic Landscapes Research Program

in collaboration with Artez Professorship Theory in the Arts

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Yolande Harris, Teemu Lehmusruusu, Lia Mazzari

Polyphonic Landscapes is an artistic research programme on sound and ecology in which 4 artists – Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (IN/NL), Yolande Harris (UK/US), Teemu Lehmusruusu (FI) and Lia Mazzari (IT/UK)- explore the Amstelpark during a series of residencies in the Park Studio. Their research will result in an exhibition in and outside Het Glazen Huis  from October 6th to December 3rd, 2023.

Listening as research

The sound artists of Polyphonic Landscapes investigate how we can create a more active understanding of landscape with sound and listening. In other words: How can our sense of belonging promote a more bodily, inclusive, relational and mutual connection with our environment, the latter understood ecologically as a process involving different life forms, materials, energy flows and times?

The underlying goal of the project is to gain more insight into how artistic research(ers) produce new inputs to layers of knowledge that are not or hardly accessible through regular academic practices. The ways in which the artists shape their explorations and how they show the public aspects of research are an important point of attention.

Polyphonic Landscapes works on three levels:

1. Sonic research into the urgent relationship between nature and culture
2. Research into the agency of both theory and practice in artistic research
3. Research into the ecology of the senses and the multisensory

Researchers and location

In Polyphonic Landscapes these questions are explored by four internationally renowned sound artists. Their one-year artistic research will culminate in new sound works that enable new ways of knowing and experiencing landscapes. To promote a fruitful cross-pollination between artistic practice and critical theory, researchers from the ArtEZ Theory in Art professorship (led by Peter Sonderen, project leader Joep Christenhusz) and Zone2Source director Alice Smits will act as a theoretical sounding board, among other experts.

The artists will focus their research on the specific landscape of the fifty-year-old Amstelpark where Zone2Source is located. The Amstelpark, designed for the Floriade in 1972, is a hybrid environment in which the urban and the natural are closely intertwined. The results of their research will be shared during three public research seminars. To conclude the project, the connected sound works will be exhibited by Zone2Source from October to mid-December 2023.

About the artists

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (IN/NL)
Co-Sounding: Towards a Sonorous Land

Consisting of a series of framed canvasses equipped with sensors, code and field recordings, this installation sets out to decolonise the visual dominance of the static landscape painting by representing landscape through our more intimate senses of sound and hearing. Spilling over the canvas into the space with sound recordings from locations inspired by 17th century landscape paintings, the audience participates through movement and environmental sensors installed in the canvasses.

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (IN/NL) is a contemporary artist, researcher, and writer. He produces works for largescale installations and live performance addressing issues of environment and ecology, migration, race, and decoloniality. Chattopadhyay has an expansive body of scholarly publications in artistic research, media theory and aesthetics.

Electronics Assembly Support: Bidisha Das (Cologne).
Systems and Production Support: Tobias Lintl (Vienna)
Coding Support: Christoph Kummerer (Vienna)
Thanks to Rijksmuseum Schiphol, Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA), Critical Media Lab Basel, Lukas Willmann, Gregor Lintl, Lilli Müller, and Gina Müller.


Yolande Harris (UK/US)
Vertigo and the Sound Portal

The global ecological crisis is demanding us to relate to environmental urgencies in far away places. Vertigo and the Sound Portal is a sound and video installation which connects us to distant environments through sound and listening. Encouraging a heightened sensitivity and relational reorientation it celebrates an amorphous, fluid relationship to place and identity through the concept of vertigo. How do we hear displaced sounds, or sense remote presence and connections with landscapes far away from us? Connecting the Pacific coast of central California with the Amstelpark in Amsterdam, visitors are invited to consider how their fixed concept of geographical and ecological location, and the accompanying sense of identity, is extended, amplified and liquefied through sound.

Yolande Harris (UK/US) is an artist, musician and researcher exploring ideas of sonic consciousness. Through audio-visual installations, walks and performances she creates intimate visceral experiences that heighten awareness of our relationship to the environment.


Teemu Lehmusruusu (FI)

Pulse is a sonically resonating bronze and glass sculpture, a type of human-to-soil probe.With the help of moisture and temperature sensors, the sculpture connects us to the underground bioactivity of the environment in which it is placed. Aiming to reposition us to the landscape, the work probes the invisible soil processes by translating them into sonic experiences and inviting us to resonate with a vital underground system. The sculpture creates a site of attention to those fragile conditions of life that lie below our feet, and that we classically do not understand to be part of the flat idea of ‘landscape’. Instead landscape is understood as ways of encounter the dynamism of a materially resonating, esthetical experience between bodies.

Teemu Lehmusruusu (FI) is a Helsinki-based media and installation artist. Lehmusruusu’s current, long-term exploration is into the invisible life within the Earth’s soil, that is in a constant state of flux, and endangered by the environmental crisis. He enables us to encounter it through sensors, sounds and computer-generated images together with natural materials.


Lia Mazzari (IT/UK)

hydroFiles explores how live audio streaming engenders different modalities of ‘being and listening with’ our planet. It consists of a network of eight live audio streams continuously broadcasting from various sites above and below the waterways of Amsterdam, such as canals, bridges and the dunes. By placing microphones and hydrophones across surfaces, drinking, sewage waters
and giving the Amstel waters a voice, the live audio streams transform the act of listening to into listening with environments.

Lia Mazzari (IT/UK) is a sound artist and researcher. She engages audiences through encounters with art in non-conventional spaces (on-site and online) using performance, composition, installation, and intervention. Recorded and live events explore how sound can be used as a multidimensional force of acoustic commoning.

hydroFiles is supported by Waterschap Amstel, Gooi en Vecht and by Waternet.

National Research Agenda (NWA)

Polyphonic Landscapes is part of the Art Route NWA project Piece by piece, or not at all, within the ‘Small Projects’ scheme funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). This project addresses various cluster questions posed in the National Research Agenda. For example: “What is quality of life?” and “What does art mean to people?”.

Polyphonic Landscapes seeks new perspectives on these questions through artistic research that explores the relationship between nature and culture, and the position of the human and non-human in particular. It endorses the NWA Art Route’s vision that, in light of global climate breakdown, art can be an alternative mode of knowledge production that circumvents the dichotomies between subject and object, knowing and experiencing, human and non-human.