Social Acoustics: On Listening

Professors Brandon LaBelle and Jill Halstead from the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD), UiB, will talk about sounds and listening based on their new artistic, collaborative research project, Social Acoustics. Wednesday 5 September at 19, Auditoriet, Litteraturhuset i Bergen. All are welcome!

Sounds are deeply relational enabling gestures of compassion and sharing as well as disruption and cacophony. How might forms of sonic practice contribute to contemporary struggles? Are there particular discourses on embodiment and community to be drawn from the experiences of audition? Might certain affordances be garnered by way of sonic knowledge, particularly to challenge what Isabell Lorey terms “governing through insecurity” prevalent today?

Social Acoustics is an artistic, collaborative research project between the Departments of Fine Art and Music at KMD, focusing on the potentialities of sound’s relational, material and artistic qualities. In particular, the project engages sound as a productive medium for nurturing collaboration and an ethics of radical openness, and for challenging models of knowledge and agency defined by the apparent, the legible and the quantifiable. In contrast, by probing sound’s non-representational, temporal and tonal qualities, the project focuses on how sonic practices and discourses may engage illness and injustice as well as nurture new modes of well-being. If the norm of crisis and insecurity shapes our experiences of the world today, it becomes imperative to enable conditions of care that may turn vulnerability and precarity into states of possibility.

Presentations by Professor Jill Halstead and Professor Brandon LaBelle will pose questions as to what constitutes an act of listening, what consequences might sound studies have for interdisciplinary research culture, and in what ways may an art of sound instigate alternative modes of being together.

Photo: Allegra Solitude, Liebig12