Dr Iris Garrelfs

Staff details

PositionLecturer in Sonic Arts
Department Music
Email i.garrelfs (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr Iris Garrelfs

Iris Garrelfs works on the cusp of music, art and sociology across improvised performance, multi-channel installation and fixed media projects.


Iris was one of the first UK artists to combine voice with digital processing and still often uses voice as raw material, which she transmutes into machine noises, choral works or pulverised “into granules of electroacoustic babble and glitch, generating animated dialogues between innate human expressiveness and the overt artifice of digital processing” as the Wire Magazine put it.


She is interested in modes of listening as a way of connecting to the world. As a result she often works with site, not just as investigations of the geographical, historic or sociological aspects of each locality, but also as poetic evocations of presence on the one hand and presence within a space or situation on the other.


Her work has been included in major institutions worldwide, for example Tate Britain, National Gallery, Royal Academy Of Arts London, Visiones Sonores Mexico, Palazzo delle Esposizioni Rome, MC Gallery New York. Residencies have included Grizedale Art, Institute of Modern Art Celje (Slovenia), Onassis Cultural Centre Athens.


Public talks and seminars include The Bodleian Library’s Centre for Digital Scholarship, ICA London (UK), Oxford (UK), a performance lecture at Cycling74’s Max Connect session, Keynote at the Field Studies master class series, Metropolitan University (UK).


With a PhD from University of the Arts London, Iris’ research interest focuses on the process of creative practice. As a postdoctoral researcher at Chelsea College of Art, she applied her model of process in sound art practice - entitled Procedural Blending - to the development of a model for active metadata as part of the interdisciplinary, cross-university CREAM project.


As a commissioning editor of the open access journal Reflections on Process in Sound, she encourages artists to contribute their experiences to the discourse.




Selected Performances and exhibitions


2016                   Brighton Digital Festival: Littoral Assembly, a collaborative 4-channel installation of ceramics and sound with Ingibjörg Gudmundsdottir. Commissioned by Ceramics House.

2016                   Museion, Museum for Contemporary Art (Bolzano, Italy): Otzi, moving image & voice work based  on the story of the famous ice mummy. Commissioned by Museruole Festival

2016                   Lewisham Art House (London): performance of Lauschen, a site specific work for Lausch II, curated by Rahel Kraft and Adam Jaro

2016                   Whitstable Biennale, ‘Silent’ program curated by Marcus Leadley: performing Improvisation for Microphone and Beach with Tansy Spinks (as Lab of Sonic Possibilities)

2015                   VoxNovus Festival New York (NY): 60×60 acousmatic composition showcase

2015                   National Gallery (UK): Room 61, site-specific performance for ‘Soundscapes Late’ using text and field recordings

2015                   Tate Britain, London (UK): Listening Room, participatory 4-channel sound installation & radio work

2015                   Borealis Festival Bergen (Norway): Radio piece Morse Code Choir broadcast in the Radio Space. Commissioned by Radio Art

2015                   MC Gallery, New York (NY): diffusion of Sofa Surfing USA (Bedroom Symphonies)

2015                   Google Cultural Institute collection, curated by Poulomi Usurp Desai: Unwitting Scores

2015                   Beaney Museum of Art, Canterbury (UK), Eclipse, a performance for local newspapers and space sounds. Commissioned by Radio Art for Switched On

2014                   IMT Gallery, London: performance of Unwitting Scores, a site specific work for graphic scores & voice. Commissioned by Maria Papadomanolaki for Forms of Ventriloquism.

2014                   Hundred Years Gallery London (UK)performance for improvised digitally mediated voice 

2014                   Wimbledon Space, London (UK): interactive installation for objects and space Lab of Sonic Possibilties. With Tansy Spinks, ACTS RE-ACTS Festival

2014                   cueB Gallery, London (UK), site-specific performance Stone Table for stones and voice curated by Luca Nasciuti

2013                   ARUP BeOpen Sound Portal, London (UK), 9-channel collaborative ambisonic installation Remembering Worlds. Using material from the Stanley Kubrick Archive. Commissioned by CRiSAP

2013                   GV Art, London (UK), audio-visual installation Traces in/of/with Sound as part of Noise and Whispers

2013                   Barbican Centre, London (UK), improvised voice/laptop at HackTheBarbican curated by Music Hackspace

2012                   PianoForte Foundation, Chicago (IL), showcase of November Song

2012                   Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (UK), digitally mediated voice performance as part of Electronic Voice Phenomena curated by Mercy

2012                   City UniversityLondon (UK), 8-channel performance of Traces in/of/with Sound

2011                   Café Oto, London (UK), digitally mediated voice performance at Simon Whetham’s Active Crossover

2010                   Rencontres Internationales, Madrid (Spain), performing as part of Thomas Koner’s Futurist Manifest

2010                   Ecoteca, Pescaoa (Italy), improvised digitally mediated voice performance

2009                   Impakt Festival, Utrecht (Netherlands), performing as part of Thomas Koner’s Futurist Manifest

2009                   Science Museum, London (UK), performance of mini space opera Star Maker at the 40th Moon landing anniversary celebrations. Commissioned by Sound and Music.

2009                     Galapagos, New York (NY), showcasing of 60×60, with a choreographed dance performance by V. Brown

2009                   Royal Academy Of Arts London (UK), Red Storage Room installation with Urbania Collective, GSK Contemporary Season

2008                   Leeds Town Hall, Leeds (UK), installation Swannsong, commissioned by Lumen for Evolution Festival

2008                   MCC, Celje (Slovenia), performance of moving image piece Twine using photographs & field recordings

2007                   Sonic Circuits Festival, Washington (DC), improvised digitally mediated voice performance

2007                   Museum for Contemporary Arts, Celje (Slovenia), solo show of audio-visual installation Dumplinks

2007                   Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (Italy) performance with the Symbiosis Orchestra

2006                   Gaudeamus Live Electronics Festival, Amsterdam (Netherlands), improvised voice/laptop performance at the Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij Amsterdam

2006                   Visiones Sonoras, Morelia (Mexicovoice/laptop performance at Mexican Center for Music & Sonic Arts  

2006                   South London Gallery, London, improvised live performance

2006                   Whitechapel Gallery, London, improvised performance as part of Wormhole Salon




Solo albums. For compilations tracks, collaborative and individual recorded works see irisgarrelfs.com/category/recordings


2015                   Breathing Through Wires, an album of technologically mediated live voice performances, PanyRosasDiscos (USA)

2014                   Bedroom Symphonies, an album made from digitally mediated hotel room practice sessions accompanied by a booklet of photographs, released on Linear Obsessional Recordings

2006                   Specified Encounters, an album made from digitally mediated voice recordings, released on Bip-Hop (France)


Conference & papers


2016                   Sonologia, Sao Paulo (Brazil): Listening lives: how some sound artists understand inputs to their practice

2016                   Sonic Environments/NIME, Brisbane (Australia): Traces in/of/with Sound: an artist’s experience of audio-visual space

2016                   Off the Lip, Plymouth University. From Conceptual Blending to Procedural Blending: applying a model of cognition to process in sound art practice

2016               2016                    International Digital Curation Conference Amsterdam (Netherlands): Bird C. L, Coles S. J. Garrelfs I. et al. Using metadata actively

2015                   Sound Passages: Passage di Suono symposium, IUAV University of Venice, School of   Architecture, Venice (Italy): Sound and the Imagination in Urban Spaces

2014               2014                  Sound:Gender:Feminism:Activism symposium, London College of Communication: Beyond speech and song: exploring reactions to female vocal expressions in experimental sound                                    

2013      2      2013                   Seeing Sound, Bath Spa University: Garrelfs I. Traces in/of/with Sound: an experience of audio-visual space      

                        2013                    Sounding Space, University of the Arts London: Garrelfs I, Desborough C R,  Judkins R, Peter McKerrow P. The Making of Remembering Worlds

2012               2012                   Sound:Gender:Feminism:Activism, London College to Communication symposium: Escaping gender through technology: sonic freedom and the machine

2012                    Sound, Sight, Sound and Play, De Montfort University: Reflections on override: an experiment to interrupt sensorial interaction in audio-visual relationships