University of Copenhagen / Amager

Organised by Søren Møller Sørensen, Torben Sangild, Erik Granly and Brandon LaBelle.

The aim of the conference Sound, Art, Auditory Cultures is to further interdisciplinary research in aural experience. Experience of our environments through sound, and development of methods for culturally and historically informed research in this experience, are the central topics to be discussed.

Interdisciplinary sound studies can profit from a broad array of methodological approaches and from close interaction with contemporary music and sound art. Since the 1970s the soundscape movement has been engaged in the registration of quotidian auditory environments and in the same period the fertile practice of sound art has developed into a highly valuable laboratory for the investigation of sound’s multiple forms of presence and effect. In conjunction, sound continues to find a significant place within performance practice, with an emphasis on voice and its medial delivery (radio, cinema, etc), which forces continual consideration on acts of communication, social relations, and notions of identity. The current academic discourses on sound have developed through close dialogue with such sonic practices and media, which have been marked by a high degree of implicit theory.

This proximity of artistic and scholarly activity, combined with the shared focus on the instability of all attempted distinctions between sound as material for artistic construction and sound as conveyer of environmental information, also has shed new light on older layers of theory on sound and listening. This goes for the investigation of listening in the acousmatic situation (Pierre Schaeffer), for theory that accompanied the early stages of German electro-acoustic music (Werner Meyer-Eppler), not to mention the great 19th century tradition of acoustics and tone-perception (Hermann Helmholtz), and the extensive discussion of the significance of instrumental timbre in 19th century music theory and aesthetics.

Keynote Lecturers:

Sabine Breitsameter, Professor at the Faculty of Media of Hochschule Darmstadt – University of Applied Sciences
Christoph Cox, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Hampshire College
Allen S. Weiss. Associate Adjunct Professor, Performance Studies and Cinema Studies, NYU