Postponed - Sonic Continuum: Histories of Listening

Diana Policarpo. Death Grip, 2019. Video stills from digital animation. Courtesy of the artist and EDP Foundation.
Diana Policarpo. Death Grip, 2019. Video stills from digital animation. Courtesy of the artist and EDP Foundation.

Due to concerns around COVID-19, Sonic Continuum: Histories of Listening is postponed to a later date. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The first instalment of the symposia series Sonic Continuum, our long-term research strand investigating practices of world-making through sound and social architectures of time, features artists, thinkers, musicians, and sound researchers to ask how do we perceive time?

Throughout the centuries, philosophers, physicists and musicologists dabbled with a central conundrum: what determines our sense of time? While it is fundamental to ideas of history, to our everyday selves and to our expectations, conventional views describe it as forward-moving, one-dimensional, universal and made up of spatial successions. Musical time, however, is made up of tempos, rhythms and syncopations that ward off, suspend, accelerate and re-organise our perception. Thinking through sound and music, could the ear be the body of time? How do we listen to time?

Histories of Listening is a two-day programme of talks, moving image, poetry, performance and listening sessions that looks at the compositions of time at play in the interconnected biosocial rhythms of human, vegetal and mineral lives. Departing from global histories of labour, it investigates how the complex of time emerged out of colonial encounters and how the pulsing rhythms of colonial modernity are central to capitalist modes of production.

This gathering is an opportunity to explore the entanglement of sound, environment, and imperialism, and addresses climate urgency, colonial memory, and the social distribution of possible futures. Participants include dub techno duo Space Afrika, sing-songwriter Lucinda Chua, global historian Jonathan Curry-Machado, artist Manuel Ángel Macía, sound historian James Mansell, radio activist Diana McCarty, writer and performance artist Jota Mombaça, artist Pedro Neves Marques, poet Selina Nwulu, artist Diana Policarpo, artist Tabita Rezaire, sound scholar Syma Tariq, artist Jol Thoms, and sound scholar Salomé Voegelin.

Curator: Sofia Lemos, assisted by Ryan Kearney

Free. Booking recommended. This event will be live streamed. Large print transcripts of the performances will be available during the weekend.

Space Afrika harness ambient, Detroit techno and shades of early nineties Sheffield with a fresh and open approach to composition, a dub techno stripped-down, sealed in a time capsule and sent back from the near future. Closely associated with Brighton/London label, Where to Now?, who slink along a vintage axis of post-punk, On-U Sound, minimal, and no wave influences, Space Afrika's diverse and creative radio shows also display a breadth of curiosities in experimental and avant-garde music, old and new.

Lucinda Chua is a singer-songwriter, composer, and cellist based in London. She has performed and collaborated with numerous artists, including GAIKA, Ben Vince, Helm and KÁRYYN, as well as groups, such as Felix and Stars of the Lid. More recently she has performed as part of FKA twigs’ live band. In 2019, Chua self-released her debut EP, Antidotes 1 exploring the liminal space between R&B and chamber pop.

Jon Curry-Machado is a writer, historical researcher, and performer who has worked closely with Cuba since the 1990s in projects ranging from the visual arts and film making, to poetry and performance. His research has focused on the history of sugar, its technologies, peoples, and environments. Curry-Machado leads the audio-visual strategy of the Commodities of Empire British Academy Research Project, based at the University of London, as well as founder member of the Commodity Frontiers Initiative, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Latin American Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and the Institute of the Americas (University College London). He recently produced the documentary Cuba: Living Between Hurricanes (2019).

Manuel Ángel Macía is a researcher and interdisciplinary practitioner. He is a Lecturer in Architecture and part of the Interior Architecture + Design team at Nottingham Trent University, and holds a PhD from the Art Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research areas involve the coloniality of sense and current debates on ontological designing and technology.

James Mansell is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies at the University of Nottingham and a Research Associate at the National Science and Media Museum. He is the author of the book The Age of Noise in Britain: Hearing Modernity (2016).

Diana McCarty is an independent media producer and feminist media activist. She is a founding editor of reboot.fm, the award-winning free artists’ radio in Berlin; a co-founder of the radio networks Radia Network (radia.fm) and 24/3 FM Radio Network Berlin; and of the FACES (faces-I) online community for women, among other initiatives. McCarty co-initiated the exhibition Nervous Systems: Quantified Life and the Social Question at HKW, Berlin (2016), and actively collaborates with the experimental media project Luta ca caba inda. As a cyberpunk in the 1990s, she was active in independent internet culture with nettime, the MetaForum conference series, and different hacking spaces. She is a fellow 2019-2020 at BAK, Utrecht, where her research revolves around art, gender, politics, radical feminism, technology, and media. McCarty is a proud Chicana from Albuquerque.

Jota Mombaça is a non-binary bicha, born and raised in the northeast of Brazil, who writes, performs, and investigates on the relations between monstrosity and humanity, kuir studies, de-colonial turns, political intersectionality, anticolonial justice, redistribution of violence, visionary fictions, the end of the world, and tensions among ethics, aesthetics, art, and politics in the knowledge productions of the global south-of-the-south.

Pedro Neves Marques is a visual artist, filmmaker, and writer, whose work ranges from narrative films and short stories to theoretical writings between art, cinema, and anthropology. Influenced by cosmopolitics and feminist and queer historians of science, his work highlights the clash between disputing images of nature, technology, and gender, with science fiction and speculative writing being key to imagining other futures. He is the author of the anthology The Forest and the School (2015) and two short-story collections. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Castello di Rivoli (2019); Gasworks, London (2019); Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2018); and Toronto International Film Festival, Canada (2019).

Selina Nwulu is a writer, poet and essayist. She has written for the Guardian, New Humanist, and Red Pepper, and has also been featured in Vogue, ES Magazine, i-D, and Blavity amongst others. Nwulu has read her work extensively both internationally and throughout the UK, including Somerset House, BBC Radio 4 and Southbank Centre. Her work was recently published in the critically acclaimed anthology New Daughters of Africa and she was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2019. She was Young Poet Laureate for London 2015-16.

Diana Policarpo is a visual artist and composer whose work consists of both visual and musical media, including drawing, text, score, sculpture, acoustic composition, performance, and multi-channel sound installation. Her work investigates power relations, popular culture and gender politics, juxtaposing the rhythmic structuring of sound as a tactile material within the social construction of ideology. She is a graduated from Goldsmiths College. Recent exhibitions and performances include Galeria Municipal do Porto (2020); Kunsthall Trondheim (2020); Contemporary Art Museum of Elvas (2020); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2019); MAAT, Lisbon (2019); Galeria Francisco Fino, Lisbon (2018); Kunsthall Oslo (2018); LUX-Moving Image, London (2017); and Kunstverein Leipzig (2017). In 2019, Policarpo was awarded the EDP Foundation New Artists Award.

Tabita Rezaire is an artist infinity incarnated into an agent of healing. Navigating digital, corporeal and ancestral memory as sites of struggles, she digs into scientific imaginaries to tackle the pervasive matrix of coloniality and the protocols of energetic misalignments that affect our body-mind-spirits. She is part of the artist group NTU, half of the duo Malaxa, and the mother of the energy house SENEB. Recent exhibitions and performances include Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); Serpentine Galleries, London (2019); MoMa, New York (2018); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2018); MMOMA Moscow (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018); ICA, London (2018); V&A Museum, London (2017); National Gallery Denmark, Copenhagen (2017); The Broad, Los Angeles (2016); Tate Modern, London (2015); and Museum of Modern Art Paris (2015).

Syma Tariq is an AHRC technē-funded PhD researcher at Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP), University of Arts London. She has long had an interest in sound and its relation to politics, by way of her experience in radio journalism, DJing, music promotion, and writing, as well as collaborations with artists and exhibitions in Europe and South Asia. She has co-produced radio art with Radio Apartment 22 since 2015, with two ongoing projects – Café Univers and R22 is Burning – exploring political themes through the form of experimental audio formats and live-recorded conversations.

Salomé Voegelin works at the forefront of sound studies and sound art, turning to the invisible and mobile dimension of art and the everyday to achieve new insights into pressing issues in ecology, politics, education, and social integration. She is the author of three influential books on sound The Political Possibility of Sound (2018), Sonic Possible Worlds (2014), and Listening to Noise and Silence (2010) and has published numerous articles, papers, and essays that explore and expand the field of political and aesthetic thinking via listening. Her most recent book articulates a politics that includes creativity and invention and imagines transformation and collaboration as the basis of our living together. Voegelin is a Professor of Sound at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK.

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