Biography

Lewis Sykes is a visual musician, technologist, digital media producer/curator and researcher/educator based in Manchester, UK.

A veteran bass player of the underground dub-dance scene of the 90s he performed and recorded with Emperor Sly, Original Hifi and Radical Dance Faction and was a partner in Zip Dog Records.

Honing an interest in mixed media through an MA Hypermedia Studies at the University of Westminster (2000) he continued to fuse music, visuals and technology through a series of creative collaborations – most notably as musician with the progressive audiovisual collective The Sancho Plan (2005-2008). As a member of TSP he performed and exhibited interactive audiovisual sets and sonic installations at numerous UK and European festivals – highlights being a permanent exhibit in the Museum of the Future, Ars Electronica, Linz and live showcases at its festival Gala Ceremony (2006 & 2007).

Currently as one-third of Monomatic – a collaboration, experimental playground and halfway house alongside the work of composer, software architect and sound designer Nick Rothwell a.k.a Cassiel and visual artist, filmmaker and technologist Ben Lycett – he explores sound and interaction through physical works and audiovisual performances that investigate rich musical traditions. PEAL: A Virtual Campanile – an interactive sound installation which models the layout and operation of a traditional English church bell tower was commissioned by Sound and Music for their Expo 09, Leeds festival – relocating the distinctive ringing sounds and characteristics of five churches spread across the Leeds Metropolitan District to the Arena of the Leeds City Museum and subsequently Kinetica Art Fair ’10.

Director of Cybersonica, an annual celebration of music, sound art and technology launched at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London, UK (2002-11), he was also Co-ordinator of the ‘digital futures think tank’ Cybersalon (2002-2007) – founding Artists-in-Residence at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre.

Lewis is currently an Associate Lecturer for the the BA Creative Multimedia, School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University and has recently completed a Practice as Research Ph.D. – The Augmented Tonoscope – at MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, exploring the aesthetics of sound and vibration. He argues that despite a proliferation of audiovisual material in our everyday lives very little research is being carried out to analyse its dynamics – and much of it relies on the frequently effective yet somehow superficial synchronisation of the visuals to the rhythm of the music. His current body of work is the culmination of a four year postgraduate investigation and recent artistic collaboration with Ben Lycett exploring an alternative approach – of looking for connections between music and moving image which are more elementary, direct and ‘harmonious’ and which attempt to engage our senses in a way which is not discretely seen and heard – but is instead ‘co-sensed’ or ‘seenheard’.

Lewis Sykes - portrait 2