Michael Trommer is a Toronto-based sound and video artist; his practice has been focused primarily on psychogeographical and acoustemological explorations of anthropocentric space via the use of VR, ambisonic and tactile sound, field recordings, immersive installation and expanded cinema. He has exhibited and performed his work at galleries and festivals throughout the world. In addition to teaching graduate sound design and sound art at George Brown College, Michael also teaches Think Tank at OCAD University and is currently a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Arts at York University.
Why did you get involved in this project?
I was fascinated by the prospect of working anonymously and independently with unknown collaborators; it seemed to be a strangely appropriate metaphor for the strange social dis/re-connect I was experiencing during my life in isolation.
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
I didn’t find the process to be particularly different from the way I usually work. Having said this, the tight deadline did encourage me to commit rather than engage in the endless fine-tuning I often find myself spiraling into.
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
Being the final link in the creative chain, I naturally became very intrigued by the creative decisions made by the people who preceded me. Given the fact that my research focuses on the deeply affective and narratively complex capacities of sound, being afforded the leeway for creative (yet hopefully respectful) (re)interpretation of previous contributors’ anonymous, unexplained input made for a very compelling exercise.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
I found the text, images and composition of the piece I received to be both inventive and inspiring and was quite surprised to discover that the individuals involved in the piece had only marginal (if any) experience in film production. In many respects, the experience upholds Joseph Beuys’ notion that ‘everyone is an artist’.