Social Acoustics

Sep 2020  

Seminar, Collaboration, Listening, Acoustic Justice
September 28, 2020 / 19:00 – 22:00
Errant Sound, Rungestraße 20, 10179 Berlin

Brandon LaBelle, On Acoustic Justice
Zorka Wollny, Let’s make noise!

The experiences of hearing and being heard contribute greatly to the work of recognition and mutuality, supporting the building of community as well as the struggles by which to resituate identity. Through a range of acoustic gestures and practices, from disruptive signals to vibrant ecologies of togetherness, hearing and being heard become scenes or processes of reorientation, affinity, escape, and solidarity. The issue of social acoustics is put forward as a research framework in order to map out the ways in which sound and listening lend to social, cultural, and political experiences and imaginaries. In addition, the topic of acoustic justice is raised, suggesting that the movement of sound through a given environment carries questions of social equality and the power of aurality. How might we think through understandings of agency from a sonic perspective? Are there particular listening practices that may impact onto scenes of injustice? What types of acoustic arrangements might we make in support of a diversity of voices and orientations?

The seminar brings together participating artists to reflect upon sounding and hearing, collaboration and listening, and how these operate within their own practices. This includes questions of musicality and (social) composition, radio practices and sonic archiving, voice and embodiment.

The first in a series of three seminars planned at Errant Sound. Upcoming seminars include: October 24 with Achim Lengerer, and November 22 with Julia Tieke, introduced and moderated by Brandon LaBelle.

Social Acoustics is an artistic, collaborative research project based at the Departments of Fine Art and Music, at the University of Bergen. It focuses on the potentialities of sound’s relational, material, and artistic qualities, and questions in what ways listening contributes to social and political imaginaries.