Phillips, Liz [Elizabeth]
- Charles Passy
(b Jersey City, NJ, June 13, 1951). American composer and artist. She graduated from Bennington College in 1973 with a degree in art and music. In her early career as an artist she created sculptures using light. Later she incorporated sound as a logical extension of her work: ‘What I wanted to do … was to change three dimensional space over time, and sound was the best way to do this’, Phillips stated in an interview (Close). She has earned considerable recognition for her sound sculptures, created for indoor and outdoor installation. They contain electronic circuitry that responds to elements of the environment in which they are positioned – in some cases the presence and movement of people (as in Sunspots) and in others a changing landscape (as in Windspun and Come About). From a visual standpoint Windspun is typical of many of Phillips’s sculptures in that the ‘sensor’ (in this case a windmill) serves both an artistic and a practical purpose. Information about the speed and direction of the wind and the presence of nearby people is gathered by the sensor and then transformed into sound by means of a synthesizer, using the hollow shaft of the windmill as a resonator. Phillips’s sculptures have been exhibited throughout Europe and the USA....