Sonic Continuum: Expanded Listening

Libita Sibungu, 'I’m not my. My.....my injuries are healed now, but I still don’t remember things. - Fledgling, Octavia. E. Butler (2005)', at Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2018. Photo: Ollie Harrop
Libita Sibungu, 'I’m not my. My.....my injuries are healed now, but I still don’t remember things. - Fledgling, Octavia. E. Butler (2005)', at Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2018. Photo: Ollie Harrop
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The fourth instalment of the symposia series Sonic Continuum, our long-term research strand investigating social architectures of time and practices of world-making through sound, features artists, thinkers, musicians, and sound researchers to ask what are the limits of sound?

In the nineteenth century, developments in the cultural history of hearing in Europe and the emergence of acoustics as a scientific discipline, led to the articulation of new sensory relations and new theories of knowledge. An emphasis was placed on the ear canal as the medium through which humans apprehend the world. Since then, artists, feminists, queer/disability and critical race theorists have struggled against the distance between representation and experience, time and space, and sound and sense, implied by this way of listening to the world.

This two-day programme of performances, dance, talks, and poetry, tunes to the haptic and sensorial dynamics of listening across auditory registers and a wide spectrum of frequencies. It proposes modes of listening beyond the ear, that are attentive to the sound of political climates and non-human languages towards renewed kinships and a longer tempo of auditory awareness.

Participants include geographer Sasha Engelmann, legal scholar Denise Ferreira da Silva, ethnomusicologist Ana María Ochoa Gautier, performance and visual artist Evan Ifekoya, poet Sarah Jackson, performance and visual artist Jota Mombaça, dance and choreographer Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, media scholar Nelly Y. Pinkrah, anthropologist Elisabeth Povinelli, sociologist Martin Savransky, artist Libita Sibungu, artist Jenna Sutela, sound artist and filmmaker Aura Satz, and more.

Programme details will be added soon.

Curator: Sofia Lemos, assisted by Ryan Kearney

Free. Booking recommended.

Sasha Engelmann is a geographer, researcher, and artist exploring the aesthetics and politics of air, atmosphere, and weather. Since completing her doctoral dissertation based on a site-based collaboration with Studio Tomás Saraceno, Berlin, she has become an active member of the Aerocene community. Since 2018, Engelmann leads Satellite Séances, a weather forecasting performance series with Sophie Dyer. Her writing has been published in a variety of academic journals, media, and print publications. She is Lecturer in GeoHumanities in the department of Geography at Royal Holloway University of London and co-directs the GeoHumanities Creative Commissions programme.

Evan Ifekoya’s practice spans sound, text, video, and performance to place demands on existing systems and institutions of power, as well as recentre and prioritise the experience and voice of those previously marginalised. They established the collectively-run and QTIBPOC (queer, trans*, intersex, black and people of colour)-led Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) in 2018. Recent exhibitions and performances include Liverpool Biennial (2020); De Appel, Amsterdam (2019); Gasworks, London (2018) Contemporary Arts Centre New Orleans as part of Prospect 4 (2017); and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town (2016); among others.

Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome's practice involves dancing and voicing as political gesture, presenting in institutions, alternative spaces and clubs. She is interested in creating work which shifts perspectives, crafting queer spaces where care and consent promote exploration and agency. Working with pop/punk bands, electronic music producers and artists from different genres, she has presented and performed her work at Sadlers Wells, London; ICA, London; Block Universe, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Barbican, London; Siobhan Davies Dance, London; South London Gallery, London; TATE Modern, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; among others. Muñoz-Newsome co-founded the transdisciplinary performance night London Topophobia.

Nelly Y. Pinkrah is a cultural and media theorist and political activist whose research focuses on digital media and technology, black feminist, as well as critical race and postcolonial theories, and cultural history. She is writing her doctoral thesis on Édouard Glissant and Cybernetics at Leuphana University, Germany where she is a research assistant and part of the research training group Cultures of Critique. In 2013, she co-organized the annual conference of the German Society for Media Studies and works since with the Centre for Digital Cultures. From 2018-2019, she was a Doctoral Fellow at the Global Emergent Media Lab at Concordia University, Montréal, and in 2019, organised the inaugural Stanford Leuphana Summer Academy on Media Studies.

Aura Satz’s practice encompasses film, sound, performance, and sculpture. Recent performances, screenings, and exhibitions include MoMA, New York (2020); MCA, Chicago (2020); Rotterdam Film Festival (2013-20); Kadist, San Francisco (2020); Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2020); SFMOMA, San Francisco (2017/18/19); High Line Art, New York (2018); Lentos Museum, Linz (2017-18); NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo (2017); Sydney Biennale (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Hayward Gallery, London (2014-15); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle (2014-15); New York Film Festival (2013); Tate Britain, London (2014); Tate Modern, London (2012); among others. Satz is Moving Image Tutor and Reader in Fine Art (Sound and Moving Image) on the Contemporary Art Practice programme at the Royal College of Art.

Martin Savransky is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. Working across philosophy, the environmental humanities, and the social sciences, he has an interest in speculative pragmatism, radical pluralism, cosmological difference, and plural arts of living and dying amidst ecological devastation. He is the author of The Adventure of Relevance (2016),  Around the Day in Eighty Worlds: Politics of the Pluriverse (forthcoming), co-editor of Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures (2017), and has published widely in journals such as Theory, Culture and Society, Postcolonial Studies, SubStance, and Social Text, among others.

Libita Sibungu’s solo and collaborative projects explore the politics of the body and landscape in relation to migration, blackness, and colonialism. The work seeks to unearth lost, buried, and hidden testimonies, to reimagine containers of memory and states of liberation emerging out of fugitive experiences. Sibungu's ongoing body of work; ‘Quantum Ghost’, has toured as a solo exhibition at both Gasworks and Spike Island, UK, (2019). Recent exhibitions include Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich (2019); Somerset House, London (2019); Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London (2018); Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2018); Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2018); South London Gallery, London (2017); V&A Museum, London (2017; and as part of the Diaspora Pavilion - 57th Venice Biennale (2017).

Jol Thoms is an artist, sound designer, author and researcher. Probing Western rationality through critical and poetical engagements with the matter(s) and meanings of contemporary physics, Thomson’s work addresses our troubled relationships with nature, technology, and the cosmos by signalling beyond the purely measurable and quantifiable. Thomson is a gradutate of Städelschule, Frankfurt, and was a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. Recent screenings and exhibitions include Recontres Internationales: Contemporary Moving Image, Pompidou, Paris and HKW, Berlin (2019); Haus Der Kunst, Munich (2018); and ZKM (Center for Art and Technology), Karlsruhe (2017-2018). In 2016, he was awarded the MERU Art*Science Award for the film G24|0vßß.

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