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Eric Leonardson, a Chicago-based audio artist, serves as co-founder and President of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology and Vice President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. He is Associate Professor Adjunct in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As a performer, composer, and sound designer, Leonardson created sound with the Chicago based physical theater company Plasticene (1995–2012). Leonardson served as a co-founder of the World Listening Project and, since 2008, as its president and board chair from 2015 until 2021. Since 1994, he performs locally and internationally with the Springboard, a self-built instrument made in 1994 and often presents on acoustic ecology to new audiences.

In 2018, he was one of two SAIC faculty awarded the AIR Krems summer residency in Austria. He also gave a workshop at the Hochschule Darmstadt Dieberg Media Campus, and performed in the re:flexions sound-art festival in Augsburg, Germany, produced a new work for broadcast on Kunstradio-Radiokunst, ÖRF Vienna, and led the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology's third annual Summer Soundwalks In the Parks series.

In 2016, he was one of two artists selected by the Chicago Park District and Trust for Public Land for the inaugral 606 Open AIR (Artist in Residence). His works for radio, “Coincidence and Control” (2015) and "Dancing Walls Stir the Prairie (2007) were broadcast on Kunstradio-Radiokunst on ÖRF Vienna. With Professor Sabine Breitsameter at Hochschule Darmstadt, he co-edited Ways of Listening, Figures of Thought: A Festschrift for R. Murray Schafer On the Occasion of His 80th Birthday (2013). Additional recent articles appear in The Journal of Radio and Audio Media, Volume 22, Number 1, The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Volume 2, Numbers 1-2, and The Conrad Grebel Review, Volume 33, Number 2.

Leonardson earned a Master of Fine Arts (Time Arts) degree at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1983, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (Visual Art) at Northern Illinois University in 1980. He is a recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Media Arts Fellowships (2002 and 2006), and was a 2013 Copeland Fellow at Amherst College.

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Eric Leonardson



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