Dr Ruth Elizabeth Bernatek

Ruth Bernatek is an architectural historian and postdoctoral research fellow at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, where she works on the ERC project titled “Sonorous Cities: Towards a Sonic Urbanism”.   Before joining Oxford, she taught as a lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (2017-2021), where she also completed her PhD in Architecture and Urban History and Theory in 2021.  Her PhD dissertation investigated sound in the built environment, with a particular focus on audiovisual architecture since 1950 – specifically the Polytope de Montréal (1967) and Polytope de Mycenae (1978) by architect and composer Iannis Xenakis.  Her doctoral project was awarded full funding by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (AHRC) and was further supported by a Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) Collection Research Grant (2016), and the Bartlett Architecture Research Fund (2016 & 2018).  In 2017, Ruth co-founded the Bartlett doctoral research network “Sound Making Space” with Dr Merijn Royaards, which she also led until November 2020.  The networks’ regular research seminars, workshops, and events brought together international sound artists, composers, performers, architects and curators to share and discuss their research, experience and expertise.  In this role she has undertaken curatorial collaborations with the Royal Academy of Arts (2017 & 2018), Corsica Studios and the Architecture Film Festival (2017), Photolanguage and the Langham Research Centre (2020).  More recently, her academic and curatorial projects have explored collaborative research practices and interdisciplinary modes of writing, model-making, film, and exhibition to engage critically and creatively with sonic architectures, sound archives, and their sites and histories.  She has presented and screened her research at a number of international conferences and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals focused on history and theory of architecture and sound studies.

2021     Bernatek, R. ‘Sound Making Space: the audiovisual architecture of the Polytope de Montréal (1967) and the Polytope de Mycenae (1978) by Iannis Xenakis’. (Doctoral Dissertation), UCL (University College London).

2020     Bernatek, R. & Matei-Alexandru Mitrache, ‘Reconstructing the Polytope de Montréal, 1967’, paper for Connections: Exploring Heritage, Architecture, Cities, Art, Media, University of Kent. *paper accepted and peer reviewed, conference declined due to COVID-19.

2019     ‘Bernatek, R. & Matei-Alexandru Mitrache, ‘X/Polytope’, drawings and animation.

2019     ‘Rewiring Brutalism: Return to the Future of Musique Concrète’, temporary exhibition and live performance event co-organised in collaboration with Photolanguage and the Langham Research Centre.

2019     ‘X/Earwitness’, film screening and talk for ‘The Prodigal Son’s Brother’, Tabara de Creatie, Bradulet, Romania.

2019     ‘Mapping the mythical landscape through sound and voice in Iannis Xenakis’ Polytope de Mycenae (1978)’paper for Musical Mapping Symposium, University of Cardiff.

2019     ‘X / Earwitness’ film screening for ‘ON RHYTHMING: Sensory acts and performative modes of sonic thinking’, hosted by Sound Studies Lab, University of Copenhagen.

2018     Bernatek, R.  ‘The sound of spectacle: Xenakis and the Montreal world’s fair’, in Architecture and Culture, 6:3, 485-498, DOI: 10.1080/20507828.2018.1533354

2018     Bernatek, R.  ‘Listen’, Blueprint Magazine, Issue 358.

2018     ‘X / Earwitness’, film screening and paper for ‘Music and Architecture: New Resonances’, three-day colloquium convened by Theatrum Mundi and the Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, as part of Interfaces, and hosted by the Whitechapel Gallery London.

2018     Bernatek, R. & Anna Ulrikke Andersen, ‘X / Earwitness’ (2018), HD Video, 10:00

2018     Invited workshop participant, ‘Compression’, convened by Professor Mark Turner (KCL) and Professor Clare Pettitt (KCL) in collaboration with Museum of London, Museum of London [14th June]

2018     Invited workshop participant, ‘Listening to the Museum: People, Place, Objects, Aural Culture in the 21stCentury Museum’, Convened by Professor Eric de Visscher, visiting Mellon foundation professor at the Victoria and Albert Museum [17th February]

2017     ‘Time | Making | Space’, event co-organiser, Royal Academy of Arts.

2017     ‘The sound of Spectacle:  Xenakis and the Montreal world’s fair’, paper for

14th AHRA International Conference, Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University.

2017      ‘The sound of Spectacle:  Xenakis and the Montreal world’s fair’, paper for

PhD Research Projects, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

2017     ‘Sound |Making | Space’, event co-organiser, Royal Academy of Arts.

2016      ‘Xenakis in Montreal’, public talk, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.

2016     ‘Poetry of Place’, Enitharmon Press, Bloomsbury, London.

2015      ‘Against Delivery’, workshop for Slade School of Fine Art in partnership with EARN + LAHP.

2015     Audiovisual Architectures’ seminar for The Royal Academy of Music, London.

2013      ‘In Lieu of Architecture: Iannis Xenakis’ Polytopes (1958-1978)’ paper for Graduate Student Forum of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, London.

Relationship of sound to architecture and the built environment; audiovisual architecture; the sonic archive; twentieth-century experimental music and sound art; urban sound studies; performance histories; critical spatial practice.