Archive of Author | Aura Satz

Dr Aura Satz is Moving Image Tutor and Reader in Fine Art (Sound and Moving Image) on the Contemporary Art Practice programme at the Royal College of Art.

Aura Satz’s work encompasses film, sound, performance and sculpture. Interested in modes of heightened perception and sensory disorientation such as flicker and psychoacoustics, Satz has used various technologies as the subject of her work, including the Chladni plate, Rubens’ tube, theremin, mechanical music, phonograph grooves, dial tones, drawn/optical sound and early colour film. Her works look at how the physical and sonic properties of such objects tap into ideas of knowledge and communication in their use of notation systems, languages or codes.

Satz is also interested in bringing to the fore key female figures that are largely excluded from mainstream historical discourse in an ongoing engagement with the question of women’s contributions to labour, technology and scientific knowledge. She has made projects on women such as the British electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram, the Hollywood actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, Technicolor film-colour consultant Natalie Kamus, and astronomers Henrietta Swan Leavitt and Maria Mitchell. Many of the projects are informed by the history of media and the unusual migration of one technology into another, and involve extensive research, consultation and collaboration. Satz has worked collaboratively with filmmaker Lis Rhodes, and with a wide range of composers, vocalists and musicians, including Laurie Spiegel, Pauline Oliveros, Maja Ratkje, Jennifer Walshe, Anton Lukoszevieze, Mikhail Karikis, Lydia Kavina, Dorit Chrysler, Aleks Kolkowski, Steven Severin and Scanner.

Aura Satz completed a practice/theory PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art. Between 2002 and 2005, she was a recipient of the Henry Moore Post-Doctoral Sculpture Fellowship, hosted at the Slade School of Fine Art. From 2009–10, she was artist-in-residence at the Ear Institute, UCL, funded by the Wellcome Trust. In 2012, she was shortlisted for the Samsung Art+ Award and the Jarman Award. She was practitioner-in-residence at Chelsea college of Arts (2014–2015). Between 2015–2016 she was awarded a Leverhulme artist’s residency to make a film at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Department of Music, and the John Hansard Gallery, hosted at the University of Southampton.

Aura has performed, exhibited and screened her work nationally and internationally. This has included events and exhibitions at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Hayward Gallery, the Hayward project Space, Barbican Art Gallery, ICA, the Wellcome Collection, BFI Southbank, Whitechapel Gallery, (London); Oberhausen Short Film Festival (Oberhausen); the Rotterdam Film Festival (Rotterdam); the New York Film Festival (NY); Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne); De Appel Art Centre (Amsterdam); AV festival (Newcastle); Arnolfini (Bristol); Turner Contemporary (Margate); and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead). She has had solo exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection (2010–11, London); the Hayward Project Space (2013, London), Paradise Row gallery (2013, London), Gallery 44 (2014, Toronto), The Gallery, Tyneside Cinema (2014, Newcastle), George Eastman House (2015, Rochester NY), John Hansard Gallery (2015–16, Southampton), Dallas Contemporary (2016, Dallas) and Fridman Gallery (2016, NY), as well as special screening programmes at the Rotterdam Film Festival (2013, Rotterdam), The New York Film Festival (2013, NY), The Cinematheque (2015, Vancouver), Tate Britain (with Lis Rhodes 2014); Whitechapel Gallery (2016); and HOME (2017, Manchester). In 2016 she was included in the 20th Sydney Biennale ‘The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.’

Articles with Aura Satz


Aura Satz is Moving Image Tutor and Reader in Fine Art (Sound and Moving Image) on the Contemporary Art Practice programme at the Royal College of Art.

Aura Satz’s work encompasses film, sound, performance and sculpture. Her work centres on the trope of ventriloquism in order to conceptualise a distributed, expanded and shared notion of voice. Works are made in conversation and use dialogue as both method and subject matter.
Satz has made a body of work centred on various sound technologies in order to explore notation systems, code and encryption, and ways in which these might resist standardisation, generating new soundscapes, and in turn new forms of listening and attending to the other.