Tomoko Hojo

Visiting Researcher

2017 - 2018

Tomoko Hojo is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher working within the field of experimental music and sound art. Through the experiences of performing historical avant-garde musical works, current works explore site-specific sound work referring to archive materials, field recordings and storytelling. She has completed two Masters’s degrees by 2015, in Sound Arts at the London College of Communication and in Creativity of Arts and the Environment at Tokyo University of the Arts. She has written about the pre-history of Sound Art in Japan from 1950s to 1970s, focusing on exhibited sound works created by artists having their origins in music, soon to be published in the book, After Musicking, edited by Yoshitaka Mōri - Tokyo University of the Arts Press. She has an ongoing collaborative project with Swiss-born sound artist Rahel Kraft, their work Reborn Sounds highlights the individual hidden, private relationship between sound and place through interviews with local community. Their next work will be presented in March 2018 at Contemporary Art Center, Nairs, Switzerland. She also co-ordinates and performs as part of Tokyo based Ensemble for Experimental Music and Theater - EEMT, which explores questions around theatre and notation, propounded by John Cage. She is an Overseas Research Fellow supported by Pola Art Foundation in 2017-2018.


The number of site and theme related sound art works combining archival materials and storytelling has increased inline with the trend of research based art installations. However, these works have not been taken into consideration within the sound art context. As Alan Licht indicates in his book Sound art: beyond music, between categories - 2007, sound art is defined as the media that “rejects music’s potential to compete with other time-based and narrative-driven art forms and addresses a basic human craving for sound”. This viewpoint is also applied in Japan, for example Onkyō, a genre which focuses heavily on the physicality of sound which has emerged from the mid 1990s to early 2000s. My research seeks to explore and contextualise these archive and storytelling based sound art works within a sound art, fine arts, or a musical context, investigating materials from the Her Noise Archive as well as art works that focus on storytelling, field recording and site specificity. Works by Cathy Lane, Hildegard Westerkamp, Viv Corringham, Susan Phillipz, Christian Marclay and Hayley Newman will be analysed through technical, methodological, cultural, historical and philosophical contexts.