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Information Experience Design (MA)

Laura Selby

Laura Selby (b. 1991) is a London-based sound artist and violinist, with a background working in sound and music design for film, TV, immersive platform and theatre.

Her research focuses on sonic contamination and the interconnection between the biological networks within and beyond us, that make up our way of being. Using listening led methods, Laura is interested in developing experiences that move audiences towards deeper relational understanding and care. 


Sonic ContaminationA Meditation - Tate Modern, London, 30th June 2023

Temporal Space Spactial Performance - IKLECTIK, London, 26th July 2023

Past Selected Works:

MYcorrhizal - IRCAM forum 2023, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR (2023)

Catalyst - Co-designer for the multimedia installation, for the Textile Circulatory Centre of research-Royal College of Art, Regenerative Fashion Hub, The Lab E20 London, UK (2022)

A Room with a View - Co-designer for ' multimedia sensory installation, LG-Royal College of Art, LUMINOUS competition, Old Street Gallery, London, UK (2022)

MYcelium - IRCAM forum workshop 2022, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR (2022)

Shirley Dawn - Music Composer and Field Recording work, 16 channel spatial sound piece, Immersive Audio Conference, University of Gloucestershire, UK (2021)

More Than Concrete - Audio Visual collaborative artist piece for The Albany and Foreign Body Productions. (2020)

Birth Rites - Original Music and Sound Installation for Stiliyana Minkovska Artist in Residence Show at The London Design Museum (2019)

Laura Selby Profile Image

‘We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds—and new directions—may emerge. Everyone carries a history of contamination; purity is not an option.’

(Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins)

Sonic Contamination is a sound led body of work exploring various forms of contamination between humans and non-humans. The series aim to challenge our role and the perceptions we have towards species on different scales of being, primarily the micoscale. Using a rhizomatic-like approach, the series of outcomes attempts to bridge audiences empathetically to the intermingling microworlds around us, through different forms of sound, performance, chromatography and workshops, creating experiences stemming from field recording and listening to living systems and environments. 

How do we as beings become more consciously connected to the microworlds within and beyond us?

Is it possible to develop deeper relational understanding and care in listening to the non-human and human relationships we have around us?

workshop image

‘Time are legion’

A profound reflection by Carlo Rovelli inspired my term of time species following the understanding that all beings exist on their own time and my pursuit in bridging to these different scales of being, sonically.

It was in the act of listening that I found a deeper level of transportation, realised during my pursuits of stillness. Specifically a moment in Scotland, listening to moss and then in the creation of a soundscape from microbe grown material.

These listening-led experiences allowed me to reveal a new conscious appreciation of the microscopic factories at work around us all, all the time, negotiating, invading, caring, as they move and contaminate continuously.


The Sonic Contamination Workshops were developed in Epping Forest, guiding participants through extended listening methods and different ways to respond independently and collectively. Above are captures from each participant's chosen listening locations, and subsequent chromatographic traces created from collecting soil samples from each site displaying the unseen microworld's for each time specie chosen.


In Person Participant Workshops, Epping Forest (London)

From the workshop chromatography traces, I formed a contamination map of the sonic collaborations shared across the different listening sites that were carried out in Epping Forest. Each individual listening site is expressed as a unique trace, spreading and colliding with each other as an expression of the hidden contaminations at work in the environments around us...unseen and heard.


Chromatography, Textile.


4m x 0.7m
all players

From the workshop outcomes and chromatographic traces I set about designing and composing a performance piece manifestation, trying to link all these elements together. Using the chromatography of the physical workshop listening sites, as a visual codification of the different species the work tries to directly engage and respond to through listening.

The score follows three phases following an evolution of the sonic contamination workshop exercises, each moving towards the goal of collaborative polyphony.

Many voices existing in space and time, together.

Taking part in the performance were three human instrumentalists and one non-human, moss!

Performance Multi-Projection Installation



Human and Non-human Performance Exercise


15 Minutes
Sonic Biome Image
Sonic Biome Image
Sonic Biome Image

Listen and feel your contaminations spread through the sonic biome...

Audiences are invited to touch, sit and lie down upon the sonic textile structure which resonates with field recordings of ecosystems, imperceivable to the human ear. 

Across the textile, conductive threaded forms are embroidered. These are displayed in a rhizomatic formation and visitors are invited to sit, touch and listen. As each embroidered thread is touched, the tracked change in capacitance causes the sounds to evolve towards their visitor's touch. The reactive response, demonstrates the audience's traces becoming a part of the sonic ecosystem. The speaker drivers beneath the textile, are connected to each species audio, moss, mycelium, insect. This gives a uniquely intimate, spatial and tactile response showing the sonic contaminations we create as we cross different beings in space and time.

Specifically, through touch and listening.


Interactive Sonic Textile, bundle dyed linen (from Epping Forest), conductive thread, birch plywood structure, speaker drivers


1.2m x 0.8m x 0.2m

MYcorrizal - IRCAM forum, Paris, FR. 2023

MYcorrhizal is an extended-reality sonic experience mapping an interconnection between mycelium and beings. A duet of worlds between data signals, entities and scales of existence. Audiences can encounter and influence the sonic ecosystem around them, and reflect upon their role in the acoustic ecology of the spaces we exist within.

The installation is inspired by the mycorrhizal bridges that exist within the forests of our Earth; connecting root, mycelium, and organism, enabling the recourse distribution of data, nutrients and memory. Visitors are invited to consider the ways we can become consciously entangled within these worlds. In what ways do we as beings already influence the worlds that exist around us? What traces do we leave behind? Through sound we can traverse temporally to worlds and species that on our human scale are seemingly invisible. Through revealing the acoustic ecologies around us and hearing the effects our traces leave, can we form our own mycorrhizal connections?

Presented at the centre is a quadraphonic sonic sculpture, emitting fragments of an ecosystem combined with mycelium electrical spiking activity collected by Professor Andrew Adamatzky*. A global soundscape surrounds taking the sonic data of the ecosystem, the mycelium impulses and the live tracking of CO2 levels in the exhibit space to produce an evolving, learning, sonic landscape. By employing machine learning to integrate these different data sources, the generative soundscape is transformed by the passive and active interactions of the audience, including their breath and touch on the textile. The piece utilises spatialisation not only as a compelling storytelling tool but as a way to extend the reality of the generative ecosystem demonstrated.

* FUNGAR. (2021). Datasets of recordings of electrical activity of substrates colonised by oyster fungi P. ostreatus and P. djamor. [Data set].

In Collaboration with:

 Bryan Yueshen Wu & Devanshi Rungta

Medium: 2023, MYcorrhizal - HD Live Moving Graphics, Six-channel Sound, Projection, Transducers, Monitor Speakers, Plywood, Printed Fabric, Conductive Thread, Cardboard, Carbon Dioxide Sensor, Infinite Duration


Catalyst - Regenerative Fashion Hub, London. 2022

Turn the drum. Watch, feel and listen to witness material transformation. Experience on the nano scale the breakthroughs in research that have become a catalyst for change in the textile industry. 

Catalyst of transformation

As you turn the drum, the visual piece before you tells the story of material transformation. Watch how end of life textiles and bio-waste can be broken down and reformed anew. The images transport you to the nano plane where cellulose molecules grow, entangle and form back into renewed cellulose for circular materials. 

As the drum turns, light and shadow envelopes the space around you. A projection of the cellulose fibre structure transports you deeper within the renewed material form. 

Listen and feel the sounds of the material change of the renewed cellulose. A musical soundscape crafted from recordings capturing the transformation process, re-amplified through the table's surface.

Catalyst for change

Become a part of the catalyst for material transformation, as you turn the drum your gesture matches the rate of change in the visuals surrounding you. 

Through small actions we can contribute to great progressions for change.

In Collaboration with:

Devanshi Rungta, Xinyi Ren, Cainy Yiru Yan, & the Textile Circulatory Centre

Medium: 2022, Interactive Moving Image, Quadraphonic Soundscape, Drum.

Installation Film
Sound Performance at Iklectik, London

The Shore - Original Soundscape Collaboration

It’s a story told by the river, a calling to recognise the flow of its body through our body, for the water remembers and you can never get lost if you follow the river.

I had the pleasure of creating the unique soundscape for Priysha Rajvanshi cyanotype and chromatography multi-sensory work: The Shore, produced from field recordings taken from the Thames shore and river banks. The unique sounds captured, reminded me of a dawn chorus within the river. Pistol shrimp and water dweller can be heard calling, chirping, singing.

A performance piece iteration was created premiered at Iklectik, London, May 2023.

In Collaboration with:

Priysha Rajvanshi - Print and Video Installation

Medium: Cyanotypes, Chromatography, Video, Sound, Multi-sensory Installation