Brandon LaBelle: The Sonic Agent / towards an acoustics of relation

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Brandon LaBelle: The Sonic Agent / towards an acoustics of relation

Seminar #2: The Transient and The Weak

Thursday 5th May


Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre
Whitehead Building
SE14 6NW

Free entry (booking required):

Alessandro Altavilla and Adam Parkinson of the EAVI group at Goldsmiths are delighted to host the second in our series of seminars by renowned sound artist and theorist Brandon LaBelle, in parallel with “The Living School” project he is developing at the South London Gallery, with the aim of cross-fertilization and extended participation across the two series.

These seminars focus on sound as a platform for practices of social engagement: the series is aimed at developing a socio-political view onto sound, and will attempt to map out how it may provide a generative guide for enriching the complexity of what it means to live together. This will be developed through a series of sessions and the idea of specific “figures”  or sonic agents. The first seminar focused on “the Invisible” and “the Overheard”; in this seminar Brandon reflects upon “the Transient” and “the Weak”

Considering sonic experiences through these agents will allow for narratives of acoustical relatedness, in particular ones that may move us from the major narrative of political crisis and disenfranchisement to collectively explore new expressions and possibilities for agency, empathy, secret association, and insurrection. Through the seminars, we can move from a space of theoretical sharing to collective work, using sound to engage with various pertinent social and political themes together.

The seminar is free, but there is a limited number of spaces, so please book using the following eventbrite link:

EAVI is the Embodied Audio-Visual Interaction research unit at Goldsmiths. We are based in Computing but with a focus on music; looking at ways of creatively using new technologies, and investigating the field of sound studies, whilst organising workshops, gigs and other events.

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Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice, and questions of agency. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. His artistic work has been presented at Liquid Architecture, Melbourne (2015), NGBK, Berlin (2014), Whitney Museum, NY (2012), Image Music Text, London (2011), Sonic Acts, Amsterdam (2010), A/V Festival, Newcastle (2008, 2010), Instal 10, Glasgow (2010), Museums Quartier/ Tonspur, Vienna (2009), 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Allegro (2009). Also a prolific writer, his books include Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and the Oral Imaginary (2014), Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian (2012), Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (2010), and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (2015/2006). He is the editor of Errant Bodies Press and Professor at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.

Adam Parkinson is a musician, curator, programmer and post-doctoral researcher in EAVI. He holds a PhD in Music from Newcastle University. His research ranges from sound art to the nature of liveness in electronic music and developing haptic interfaces for audio engineers with visual impairments. He has published in a variety of fields, from music and philosophy to human computer interaction, and teaches at Goldsmiths and Brunel University. His music has been released on Fat Cat, Quantum Natives, Upset the Rhythm and Entr’acte. He was artistic co-chair of the BEAM@NIME festival and curates the long running EAVI concert series, and has put on Trevor Wishart, Leafcutter John, People Like Us, John Butcher, Maria Chavez,and many more, alongside curating events at the Whitechapel Gallery,  XOYO and Corsica Studios. As a programmer and performer he has collaborated with Kaffe Matthews, Arto Lindsay, Atau Tanaka and more.

Alessandro Altavilla is a sound designer, artist and composer working in cinema, games and interaction design. He is currently a PhD candidate in Arts and Computational Technologies at Goldsmiths, supervised by Atau Tanaka and Julian Henriques. He is a member of EAVI group where he researches listening experience and embodied sonic interactions mediated by digital technology. Alessandro gives workshops in Sonic Interaction Design, which have been taken to IRCAM (Paris), Parsons (New York) and ZHdK (Zurich). He delivered workshops on participatory sound design for e-textile interfaces in KHB (Berlin) and KHiB (Bergen) with Berit Greinke. As a sound artist, his works have been shown at Biennale of Art in Marrakech, Invisible Architectures (Newcastle Upon Tyne), Papey Listskjul (Orkney, Scotland) Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Hawick, Scotland).