Nigel Helyer

Further information

Country of origin




Nigel Helyer (a.k.a. Dr Sonique) is a Sydney based Sculptor and Sound Artist with an international reputation for his large scale sonic installations, environmental works and new media projects.He is a co-founder and commissioner of the “SoundCulture” organisation, a VACB fellow of the Australia Council an Honourary Associate in the Architecture Faculty of the University of Sydney. His practice is strongly interdisciplinary, linking a broad platform of creative practice with scientific research and development in both academic and industrial contexts. His activities include the development of the Sonic Landscapes virtual audio reality system in collaboration with Lake Technology (now Dolby Australia), and the ongoing AudioNomad research project in location-sensitive Environmental Audio at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales. Helyer is an honorary faculty member in Architectural Acoustics at the University of Sydney, a Professorial Visiting Fellow at the school of Computer Science and Engineering at NSW University and has previously held a ABC Radiophonic Fellow title.


The residency of Nigel Helyer resulted in "Host" - in which an audience of several hundred live Crickets attend a lecture concerning the sex life of insects

Research project

The lecture (by Dr Stuart Bunt – SymbioticA Scientific Director) was manifested as two wall-sized DVD images projected through an array of insect cages.

One DVD portrayed a highly pixilated image of the lecturers face and had a sound track recorded directly from the speaker’s voice.

The second soundtrack was recorded via electrodes connected directly to the aural nerve of a Cricket as it listened to the sex lecture. The recorded signal was then processed via an oscilloscope to give both a visual and sonic display of the insects’ nervous activity.


The three-month residency funded through New Media Fellowship from the Australia Council.

Period of research