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Active Crossover

‘Active Crossover' is an electronic circuit used in speaker construction, which enables a speaker to transmit sound information consistently and accurately across space. Simon Whetham's 'Active Crossover' project reflects this process, both in terms of the way sound is heard in a space, and also in the way the work continues to emerge out of social relationships formed through travel and communication.


Latest News


Active Crossover: Mooste

The Artists International Development Award has been granted by Arts Council England and the British Council, which will fund a special development of Active Crossover with MoKS in Mooste, Estonia.


Simon Whetham has been selected to run a two-month international residency through April and May 2105 with John and Evelyn Grzinich (US/EE), where he will be joined by Tuulikki Bartosik (EE/SE), Richard Eigner (AT), Fernando Godoy (CL), Jim Haynes (US), Park Jin Young (KR), Rostislav Rekuta LV), Yiorgis Sakellariou (GR), Dawn Scarfe (UK), Eamon Sprod (AU), Arlene Tucker (US/TW) and James Wyness (UK).


Previous Projects


Active Crossover: Feldafing

From 4th February until 30th March 2014 Simon was one of 5 artists-in-residence at Villa Waldberta, Feldafing, Bavaria, Germany.

During this time he collaborated with artists Ypsmael, Christine Schörkhuber and Alexander Rishaug, giving a presentation performance on 29.03.14​.


He also ran workshops in active listening, field recording techniques and the construction of contact microphones and hydrophones, and ran a workshop session for a group of young unaccompanied refugees in the Bayern Kaserne camp, with unexpected results...


To view the project blog please click HERE.




From mid-October to early December of 2013 Simon worked with local artists Hilde Marie Holsen, Jon S. Lunde and Terje Paulsen in Active Crossover: Kristiansand. Please visit the project blog here:

The project was hosted by Adger Kunstsenter as part of their residency program, and it should be mentioned that the project also received the 'Cultural Rucksack' grant, which is only awarded to one project a year. One thing that is asked of artists who receive this grant is they give workshops to local schoolchildren, so for the week commencing 11/11/2013 Simon gave workshop sessions to approximately 300 children.

In early 2013 the project ran as part of an experimental laboratory and collaboration project MUUA Lab/C3P, the first of a series of residencies to be hosted by the Museo Universitarion de la Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, in collaboration with the arts organisation Casa Tres Patios, inviting an international artist to participate. The project blog can be seen HERE.

Throughout 2012 Active Crossover continued, but as a residency project, as it began...
28.12.12 Active Crossover: Valparaiso - A series of concerts and interventions in collaboration with Tsonami, Fernando Godoy and Rodrigo Rios Zunino
27.04.12 Active Crossover: Buenos Aires - A performance event featuring Juan Jose Calarco, Alan Courtis and Alma Laprida alongside Simon Whetham
28.04.12 Active Crossover: La Plata - A performance event featuring Juan Jose Calarco, Alan Courtis, Alma Laprida, Jose de Diego and Cristian Carracedo
alongside Simon Whetham
02.05.12-27.05.12 Active Crossover: Seedpod - A residency with Punctum, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia, featuring a collaborative installation, workshop and performance event with Tarab, Jacques Soddell and Lizzie Pogson

For Active Crossover 2011, the exhibition consisted of two darkened, acoustically treated chambers that could be entered from the main exhibition space. One chamber featured a surround sound composition Simon Whetham created from field recordings captured in Tallinn and other locations in Estonia; Riga, Latvia; Bristol; Brighton; Bracknell; Reading; Liverpool; Armley, Leeds and London, charting the journey the project travelled.

The second chamber featured a mix of pieces by artists such as John Grzinich, Jez riley French, Iris Garrelfs, Scanner, Philip Jeck and Dylan Nyoukis that Simon performed and collaborated with through running the project, and through their ongoing cultural exchanges, recordings and events.

In the main exhibition space you heard the sound bleeding out and mingling from both spaces, forming a new and evolving communal work.

With the assistance of Arts Council England, I Love West Leeds festival and PRS for Music Foundation, the project toured across the UK, being hosted in Bracknell, Liverpool, Leeds and London, with additional live performance events in Brighton and Bristol.

Integral to the project is the series of performance evenings which investigate improvisation and collaborative working methods, as well as an ‘active listening' workshop.

The origin of the project....

In October 2008, I joined a group of UK-based performance artists (ProtoPlay Collective) in a residency in Tallinn, Estonia, as guests of the Non Grata collective. On my return to the UK, I received an invitation to return to Tallinn as Artist-in-Residence at the Polymer Factory Culturehouse, which I duly accepted.

In addition to creating new work, I presented work and practices; ran listening, field recording and composition workshops; and along with John Grzinich, provided a live sound accompaniment to a performance by renowned Estonian artist Peeter Allik.

John Grzinich also invited me to perform at an event arranged by Moks at the Y-Gallery in Tartu, alongside Jez riley French (UK field recording artist) who was in residence at Moks (in Mooste, Estonia) through May. John, Jez and I also travelled to Riga, Latvia, to perform for a radio station and an event arranged by Maksim Shentelev.

From the beginning, I saw the residency as an opportunity to work with other artists, exchanging ideas and theories, with a view to exhibiting the results in the UK on my return.

The exhibition takes the form of a sound installation comprising two enclosed sound chambers. In one you will hear my composition created during and following the residency, in the other I will present work by all the artists i worked and performed with, as well as pieces created during the composition workshop I ran. When outside the enclosed spaces, the listener will hear both, combining my work with that of the guest artists.

The first showing of the exhibition was installed in the Dark Studio at Arnolfini in Bristol from 1st to 18th October 2009, and featured as a major part of 'All Around You', a season of events concerning the use of sound, and field recordings, in art.

The exhibition was also hosted by Grey Area Gallery in Brighton throughout February 2010. Here my composition also included recordings captured in and around Bristol and Brighton, which was combined with the original work resulting from the residency in Estonia, charting the journey of the exhibition.

All artists who perform at Active Crossover events in Bristol have work added to the exhibiton as guest artists, creating an ever-growing body of work, and thus continuing the ‘crossover'.

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