[-empyre-] start of week 3

Jim Drobnick jim at displaycult.com
Mon Jun 16 23:28:28 EST 2014

Dear Renate and Tim, 

Thank you for inviting me to coordinate week 3 of the month-long discussion on New Sonic Paths. It's been a pleasure listening in so far. For this week, the 16 core participants represent a diverse cross-section of the sound art world, and includes artists, composers, curators and theorists, from Toronto and beyond. 

Each day, I will introduce a few related questions that have been solicited from the core participants. Overall, the general context of the questions pertain to the post-legitimacy stage of sound practice and studies today. That is, with the “sonic turn” in art and theory secure, and its place within the worlds of museums and academia assured, what are the main issues to be discussed? This week’s discussion group will examine how innovations in sound art, curating, technology, and theory intersect and develop in the contemporary context. 

To start the discussion today, I draw from questions raised by Dave Dyment, Lewis Kaye and myself on curating and participating in exhibitions of sound art. 

1) For myself, I've noticed how the millennium seemed to provide a watershed moment for sound art. Within the span of five years, a number of high-profile audio art shows occurred at major art institutions, such as “Voices” (1998), “Sonic Boom” (2000), “Volume: Bed of Sound” (2000), “Frequencies” (2002) and “Sonic Process” (2002). Since then, sound shows have continued to feature huge numbers of artists. "Soundworks" at the ICA in London (2012) included over 100 artists, and "Zeigen" at the Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin (2009-10) included a whopping 566 artists. While these shows operated on the premise of inclusivity, and sampled the broad diversity of audio practices, to what degree is this curatorial strategy still useful, and what might be lost or compromised in the process?

2) In a similar vein, Dave Dyment asks: How does the curation of Audio Art move forward, away from ghettoization in thematic group shows or token inclusion in larger projects (“we need something for this hallway”)?
3) Lewis Kaye's remarks echo these sentiments: At a recent conference in London, I heard David Toop suggest that curating a group sound art exhibition was "impossible" given the inevitable sonic conflict between the exhibited works. Such a claim, on its face, seems rather provocative. What are some strategies that curators or artists might employ to overcome the obvious challenges Toop is alluding to? [Note: Toop curated "Sonic Boom" at the Hayward Gallery]

Dave and Lewis, please feel free to further elaborate on your questions as the conversation begins. 



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20140616/69359d3c/attachment.htm>

More information about the empyre mailing list