Philip Samartzis is sound artist, curator and researcher investigating the social and environmental conditions informing remote wilderness regions and their communities. The sound recordings he makes deploying advanced audio technologies are used within teaching, exhibition, broadcast and publication to demonstrate the transformative effects of climate change within a contemporary art context. In recognition of his research, Philip was selected by RMIT to represent the 1905 category of the 2018 ERA review for its impact and engagement. Philip was recently presented with the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Distinguished Research Award.
Philip leads two major projects in the School of Art focusing on building sound research through national and international transdisciplinary cooperation and evolving the School’s reconciliation action plan by working with remote indigenous communities in the Pilbara through collaborative sound art projects. He also co-leads the AEGIS Art and Ecologies Network which supports students and researchers investigating cultural responses to global climate change, the poetics of place, and relations between humans and animals.
Philip is a three-time recipient of the Australian Antarctic Territory Fellowship which he is using to document the effects of extreme climate and weather events. He is undertaking the most comprehensive sound study ever produced of the ice continent spanning 15 years. Philip has presented various iterations of his practice led research in France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, NZ, UK and US. Philip’s book Antarctica, An Absent Presence (2016) is included in curricula focusing on soundscape studies and geohumanities offered by London College of Communication, Musashino Art University, Durham University, the University of Syracuse, and the Zurich University of the Arts. In recognition of the innovation of his research, Philip was selected by Australia Post to appear on the $2.20 postage stamp commemorating the Australian Antarctic Territory Arts Fellowship.
In 2019, Philip was awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship to undertake research at the High Altitude Research Centre at Jungfraujoch. This is the first time either organisation has supported an artist – researcher within their respective programs evidencing a growing awareness of the capacity of art to advocate for rarefied and endangered ecologies. Philip’s high alpine research has been featured in DW Radio, Swiss Info and Les Temps news services and exhibited in China and Japan (2019) and Switzerland (2021). It also featured in an exhibition titled Sampling the Future (2021) that was held at the NGV Australia.