With a deep-seated interest in sound, music and politics, Swinney’s approach to the sonic arts is rooted in a solid DIY-aesthetic coming out of his involvement with the post-punk ethic
at Shifty Studios in the 1980s and during the turbulent years straddling the collapse of apartheid and South Africa’s transition to democracy. He worked in sound design and music production as well as performance and sound based art at Milestone Studios (2000-2018) in Cape Town before moving into academia, fine-art sound studies and teaching. He exhibited two video works at the 56th Venice Biennale (All the world’s Futures) in 2015 and developed writing around ideas dealing with political and social transitional similarities between post-soviet countries and post-apartheid South Africa. Sonic explorations into silencing, self-censorship, and the tensions between politics and art in totalitarian states. Swinney’s academic explorations culminated in his graduating in 2018 with an MFA (with distinction) from the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is currently a PHD candidate at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and runs courses at Michaelis School of Fine Art. These centre around practical and theoretical sound-studies projects dealing with current ethical and
political issues.