School of Communication
Senior Tutor Moving Image/Sound
- Visual Communication
Jon Wozencroft is a Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art responsible for sound, moving image and photography on the Visual Communication programme, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary structures. He holds monthly, cross-college, sound seminars that explore the invisible aspects of art and design practice.
Jon Wozencroft started independent multimedia publishing companyTouch during the last few months of a postgraduate course at the London College of Printing in 1982. The idea was to extend the scope of a record label by combining music publishing with the level of curation afforded to fine art. On graduation he got a job at the Reader's Digest as an art editor working on special books. He spent a few years working in the print/editorial business whilst dedicating as much time to Touch as possible, producing a series of audiovisual magazines, and getting the chance to collaborate with New Order, Derek Jarman, Gilbert and George, Joseph Beuys and Cabaret Voltaire, among others.Show more
In 1983 Wozencroft started a collaboration with Neville Brody working on book projects, exhibitions, corporate commissions and especially FUSE, one of the first magazines to critically engage with digital culture. He is the author of The Graphic Language of Neville Brody 1 & 2, published by Thames & Hudson in 1988 and 1994, and curator of the exhibition of the same name, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1988 and ultimately at Parco in Tokyo in 1990. In 1994, 1995 and 1998, Wozencroft organised the programme for the three FUSE Conferences held thus far in London, Berlin and San Francisco.
Alongside Touch, Wozencroft's photography and design work has appeared in a number of publications, including Fax Art, Sampler, G1, Merz to Émigré and Beyond, and Shapeshifters. He was the publisher of Vagabond (a magazine co–edited with Jon Savage, 1992), and the editor/designer of Joy Division's Heart and soul box set in 1997. In 2005–2007 he co–curated the rereleases of Joy Division's back catalogue and participated in Grant Gee's acclaimed documentary film of the group.
A book of his work, Touch & Fuse, was published in 1999 by The University of Porto. He makes moving image work that has been showcased at the BFI, Sonar, Transmediale, Avanti and numerous other festivals. In 2012, Taschen published a full documentation of the FUSE project, From Invention to Antimatter: Twenty years of FUSE.
Touch has since developed into one of the most influential music publishers in the world, working with a small roster of artists who transform the perception of sound and its visualization – Fennesz, Philip Jeck, Chris Watson to name just three. Wozencroft, with his partner Mike Harding, celebrated 30 years of independent activity in 2012 with a series of special events and releases: 30.touchmusic.org.ukBefore working at the RCA, Wozencroft taught at Central Saint Martin's School of Art and Design and The London College of Printing. He has given lectures and workshops at numerous art colleges and universities around the world.
Jon Wozencroft’s research and practice centres on the impact of digital systems on the creative act, and by extension their influence on human experience, behaviour, and how we perceive the world. To avoid the pitfalls of an ‘All and Everything’ approach, his work focuses on the switching relationship between sound and image, and the examination of the new structures – and the breaking down of the old – that determine modern perception.
Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes
Events, Publications, Broadcasts and CoverageShow more
Wozencroft, J. (2014) ‘Stone Age Eyes and Ears: A Visual and Acoustic Pilot Study of Carn Menyn and Environs, Preseli, Wales’, peer reviewed and published by Routledge online, 2 Dec
Wozencroft, J. (2014) Time and Mind, Volume 7, Issue 1, March, Routledge
Exclusive feature article: Griffiths. S. and Williams, A. (2013) ‘Stonehenge 'was a prehistoric centre for rock music': Stones sound like bells, drums, and gongs when played’ in: Daily Mail Online, 2 December, resulted in ToneHenge, a 13-minute film broadcast on BBC South, 3 March 2014, leading to extensive press coverage from: the Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, BBC.co.uk, ITV.com news, BBC Radio 4 PM, BBC Radio 4 Front Page, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Radio Ulster, Classic FM, Le Monde, Le Temps, New York Times, Huffington Post, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Boston USA, Forbes.com, CBC Radio Canada, WNY2 New York Public Radio and numerous other national and international citations.
Site visits to Stonehenge organised with English Heritage, July 2013 and Feb 2014‘Dormant Sound’, catalogue essay for S.T.R.H exhibition, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, Poland, Autumn 2013
Awards and Grants
RDF fund, 2007/2009
Current and recent research
Jon Wozencroft’s work for independent multimedia publishing company Touch is an open and ongoing experiment that pioneers sonification, where sound acts as the dominant force in channelling a visual outcome, rather than the other way round.
FUSE examines the codes and forms of typographic language in order to re-present the power of the printed word – an archive of this project was published by Taschen in 2012, FUSE 1-20: From Invention to Anti-Matter.
His current research, Landscape and Perception, is an examination of the potential of sound and acoustics in pre-history, and their possible primacy in determining the nature of a landscape – the Preseli range in SW Wales, source of the Stonehenge bluestones, is at the centre of our investigations, an amazingly untouched environment.
This collaboration with Paul Devereux, himself a key figure in the development of Archaeoacoustics (as a spur to conventional Archaeology), asks the question ‘How might Stone Ages eyes and ears have experienced the Preseli environment?’.
Preseli is notable for its preponderance of lithophones – ringing rocks – potentially a significant factor in the bluestones being transported to Stonehenge in the first place. Preliminary investigations at Stonehenge show significant sonic phenomena there; project fieldwork attracted a wealth of coverage in March 2014, including a BBC1 film and a feature in the New York Times.The next stage of the Landscape and Perception project intends to research the possible relationship between the natural sounds associated with prehistoric rock markings at selected sites in the European Atlantic façade zone, in collaboration with partner institutions in Portugal, Spain, France and the UK.