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Sonic Acts Podcast
38 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Nadim Samman – As We Used to Float / Iroojrilik
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Nadim Samman – As We Used to Float / Iroojrilik 23 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Curator Nadim Samman gives a performative lecture that takes to the psychology and aesthetic of the sea, drawing on his explorer’s path through art as co-founder of the Antarctic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 1st Antarctic Biennale in 2017. His work has carried him from Moscow to Marrakech to Lima, uncovering the secrets of remote art and the mutual exchange that evolves from that act. Straddling the genres of travelogue and critical essay, As We Used to Float: Within Bikini Atoll (2018, co-written with artist Julian Charrière), explores Bikini Atoll as a space of fantasy and trauma. Toggling between a personal account of a sea journey, above and below water, and a critical investigation of postcolonial geography, the book develops broader reflections on place and subjectivity. These spring from a series of narrative immersions, variously, taking on the psychological and aesthetic parameters of ultra-deep scuba diving, the abject poetics of sea craft and the stakes of subaquatic image-making. As We Used to Float is a sea-story for our time. This performative lecture combines reading from the book with a screening of Julian Charrière’s video work, Iroojrilik (2018). Nadim Samman is a curator and art historian based in Berlin. He read Philosophy at University College London before receiving his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art. He co-founded the 1st Antarctic Biennale in 2017 and the Antarctic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. In 2016 he curated the 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, and in 2012, the 4th Marrakech Biennale (with Carson Chan). Other major projects include Treasure of Lima: A Buried Exhibition (a unique site-specific exhibition on the remote Pacific island of Isla del Coco) and Rare Earth (at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna). In 2019 he won the International Awards for Art Criticism’s first prize.
45 minutes | Jun 15, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Dehlia Hannah – Cloud Walking: Meditations on 'A Year Without a Winter'
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Dehlia Hannah – Cloud Walking: Meditations on 'A Year Without a Winter' 23 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Lauded curator and professor Dehlia Hannah delivers a lecture stemming from her environment-focussed publications and research projects. The meeting point of climate change and art – from the volcanic eruption that led to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Paolo Soleri’s utopian architecture in experimental town Arcosanti – is an estuary that for Hannah yields imaginary places, creatures and technologies. In her talk Cloud Walking: Meditations on ‘A Year Without a Winter’, Hannah enters into the discussion of how, as the world warms and seasonal patterns betray historical records, we are called to rethink key concepts of environments that we inhabit both physically and imaginatively. From regional weather systems to the lived abstraction of a global climate, rising mean temperature, shifting shorelines, disturbed migratory routes and phenological clocks, to new avenues of economic exploitation and militarisation, the boundaries of our environs are open to radical contestation. Published two hundred years after Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or: The Modern Prometheus – which was written amidst a global climate cooling crisis remembered as the ‘year without a summer’ – Hannah’s book A Year Without a Winter (2018) and associated exhibitions explore the literary and visual aftermaths of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, in parallel with emerging narratives of environmental crisis. In this talk Hannah moves through a series of clouds generated by historical events, literature and visual art – volcanic eruptions, poems, climate models, smoke bombs and burning jungles – in search of a new way of conceptualising climate that is responsive to contemporary atmospheric conditions. Dehlia Hannah is a philosopher of science and curator. She holds a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University, with specialisations in philosophy of science, aesthetics and philosophy of nature. Presently, she is Mads Øvlisen Postdoctoral Fellow in Art and Natural Sciences at Aalborg University-Copenhagen and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Her forthcoming monograph Performative Experiments examines contemporary artworks that take the form of scientific experiments. Her book, A Year Without a Winter (2018), reframes contemporary imaginaries of climate crisis by revisiting the literary and environmental aftermath of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora. Among her recent exhibitions are Emerge: Frankenstein (2017), Control | Experiment (2016) and Placing the Golden Spike: Landscapes of the Anthropocene (2015). Her current research examines the role of imaginary places, creatures and technologies in the history of philosophy.
40 minutes | Jun 11, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Lukáš Likavčan – Introduction to Comparative Planetology
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Lukáš Likavčan – Introduction to Comparative Planetology 23 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Errata: The lecturer would like to correct the crediting for Holly Herndon's 'Extreme Love’ track from her PROTO album and add co-authors Jenna Sutela and Lilly Anna Haynes. Theorist Lukáš Likavčan collaborates on art projects, including the simulation alt’ai, questioning machine protocols in communicating with environments. Exploring imaginations of Earth from the impersonal, totalising view to one in which humans are environmental accidents at home anywhere, he finds resonance in a line from Holly Herndon’s Extreme Love (2019): ‘We are completely outside ourselves, and the world is completely inside us.’ In his lecture Introduction to Comparative Planetology, Likavčan looks into how as a philosophical genre, comparative planetology presents an intertwined analysis of visual cultures of imagining the Earth and geopolitics of climate emergency. It compares different ‘figures’ of the planet – the Planetary, the Globe, the Terrestrial, Earth-without-us and Spectral Earth. These five figures function simultaneously as visual paradigms, geopolitical regimes and design briefs; each of them has different prospects in guiding our interventions against runaway global heating, and ultimately against mass species extinction. While engaging in this conceptual, cosmological endeavour, comparative planetology seeks to become one of the navigational tools in plotting our way out of the impasse of modernity. Lukáš Likavčan is a researcher and theorist who writes on the philosophy of technology and political ecology. Concluding his PhD in environmental studies at Masaryk University, Brno, he now teaches at Centre for Audiovisual Studies at FAMU in Prague and Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow, a graduate of their experimental New Normal programme. As a researcher, he was based at Vienna University of Economics and Business, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Oscillating between academic practice and a broad zone between art and design, he focuses on infrastructural conditions of subjectivity, abstraction and imagination. Likavčan just released a book Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, Strelka Press) that presents an analysis of visual cultures of imagining the Earth and the geopolitics of climate emergency.
41 minutes | Jun 8, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: DESIGN EARTH: Rania Ghosn – Geostories
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 DESIGN EARTH: Rania Ghosn – Geostories 23 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Architects Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy co-founded DESIGN EARTH to engage with geography in addressing humanity’s relationship to the Earth through architecture. From Monaco to Mexico City, their research develops projects around concepts such as hypothetical volcanos, the ‘Pacific Cemetery’ where satellites go to die and a methane aviary as waste disposal unit rendering gas pipes a forest for birds. Rania Ghosn (DESIGN EARTH) begins her lecture Geostories with the question: How might the geographic imagination convert into an image and narrative of the climate crisis? That is, not only as a calamity of the physical environment, but also as a predicament of the cultural one – of the systems of representation through which society relates to complex and unknown environmental futures. In Geostories, geographic fiction becomes a medium to synthesise different forms and scales of knowledge on technological externalities, such as oil extraction, deep-sea mining, space debris and a host of other social-ecological issues, and to speculate on ways of living with such legacy technologies on the planet. The collaborative practice DESIGN EARTH based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Cambridge, Massachusetts and is led by architects Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy. DESIGN EARTH literally means ‘earth-writing’, deploying geographic aesthetics as a form of environmental speculation in the age of climate change. The practice received a Young Architects prize from the Architectural League of New York and DESIGN EARTH have been commissioned by the Venice Architecture Biennale, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism and Oslo Architecture Triennale. Projects have been exhibited in international art spaces such as SFMOMA and Times Museum, Guangzhou and acquired by the New York Museum of Modern Art. Ghosn is an Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning and Jazairy is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at University of Michigan. They co-authored Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment (2018), ‘a manifesto for the environmental imagination’, and Geographies of Trash (2015).
49 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Underground Division: Helen Pritchard + Jara Rocha – Rock Damages
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Underground Division: Helen Pritchard + Jara Rocha – Rock Damages 22 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam The Netherlands The *Underground Division* is an action-research collective of different people based in London, Brussels and Barcelona. They are interested in technologies around subsurface rendering – a trans*feminist undercurrent exists in all of their projects intelligently engaging with the environment. Their lecture at Sonic Acts on this intuitive and cutting-edge practice gives insight into their ROCK REPO project, which starts from the damage around rocks to reconsider their agency. The *Underground Division* – here represented by Helen Pritchard and Jara Rocha – will perform a lecture based on their project ROCK REPO. It is a device built by a team of trans*feminist post-normal scientists for thinking with rock. It is an inquiry into what rock is, what it could be, and the ways in which rock is seen or considered as an entity separate from its environment. As not easily fixed entities, rocks provoke a reconsideration of categories: inert or not, discrete or not, timely or not. A set of ‘queering damage’ operations will be activated to attend to certain harms of technosciences in relation to volumetrics, geocomputation and the praxis of feeling backwards. The *Underground Division* is an action-research collective that investigates technologies of subsurface rendering and its imaginations/fantasies/promises. It is dug by Helen Pritchard, Jara Rocha and Femke Snelting with the help of many other others. As a follow-up on the collaborative research Possible Bodies looking into co-construction of so-called bodies and 3D paradigms, the-body-of-the-earth is now attended to as the framework for a study on similar sensibilities but different spacetimes. The *Underground Division* bugs contemporary regimes of volumetrics that are applied to extractivist, computationalist and geologic damages. Their research will eventually culminate in the Trans*Feminist Rendering Program, a hands-on situation for device making, tool problematising and ‘holing in gauge’. London-based artist and researcher Helen Pritchard’s work brings together the fields of computational aesthetics, more-than-human geographies and queer trans*feminist technoscience. Her practice considers the impacts of computation/computational art on the figuration of environments and environmental justice for the development of inventive methodologies that propose otherwises. She is co-editor of Data Browser 06: Executing Practices (2018) and a special issue of Science, Technology and Human Values on Sensors and Sensing Practices (2019). Pritchard is the Head of Digital Arts Computing and a Lecturer in Computational Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Together with Femke Snelting and Jara Rocha, she activates the creative research group the *Underground Division*. Jara Rocha is a researcher based in Barcelona who works through the situated and complex forms of distribution of the technological with a trans*feminist sensibility. With a curious confidence in transtextual logistics and a clear tendency to profanate modes, she tends to be found in tasks of remediation, action-research and in(ter)dependent writing. Main areas of study have to do with the semiotic materialities of cultural urgencies. Together with Femke Snelting and Helen Pritchard, she is currently active in the *Underground Division*.
21 minutes | Jun 1, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Daniel Mann – Healing and Killing in the Underground
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Daniel Mann – Healing and Killing in the Underground 22 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands London-based filmmaker and writer Daniel Mann explores how image production shapes perceptions of armed conflict, colonisation and climate emergency. His films have screened internationally, including Motza el hayam (Low Tide) (2017) which premiered at the Berlinale’s Forum, and Salarium which was presented at the Sonic Acts Academy in 2018. Daniel Mann’s talk, titled Healing and Killing in the Underground, features a screening of an episode from Eitan Efrat’s and Mann’s film The Magic Mountain (2020). Thinking the surface of the Earth against its volume is tracing the very limits of representation. Underneath the ground, human bodies become surfaces upon which the land leaves its mark, imprinted directly into the cells and tissue. While the landscapes outside are captured and mediated in the form of postcards, paintings, snapshots and films that appeal to the naked eye, a rare energy leaks through the crevices in the stone below, before it is inhaled into the lungs, absorbed and consumed through the skin. Underground the body is the postcard of the subsoil. Daniel Mann is a London-based filmmaker and writer. Mann explores the role of image production and circulation in shaping collective perceptions of armed conflict, colonisation and climate emergency. His 2017 film Salarium, co-directed with Sasha Litvintseva, was presented at the Sonic Acts Academy in 2018. His writing has appeared in journals such as Media, Culture & Society and World Records and his films have screened internationally at festivals including Berlinale (Forum). Mann holds a PhD from Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. As a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Film Studies Department, King’s College London, he is developing a new project on the role of Middle Eastern desert environments in cinematic depictions of war, conflict and future annihilation.
23 minutes | May 28, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Toril Johannessen – On 'Reclaiming Vision'
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Marjolijn Dijkman + Toril Johannessen – On 'Reclaiming Vision' 22 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam The Netherlands Note: Marjolijn Dijkman joined Toril Johannessen for the Q&A that followed the lecture On 'Reclaiming Vision' Bacteria, algae and other microbes are essential for the very being of life on earth. Marjolijn Dijkman and Toril Johannessen warn us that every second breath we take is produced by algae in the oceans. Those ideas are beautifully visualised in their film Reclaiming Vision, which is a topic of their lecture at the Academy conference. A starting point of this talk is a film that was captured through a microscope. Its diverse cast of microorganisms was sampled from the brackish waters of the inner Oslo Fjord, alongside algae, cultivated at the University of Oslo. Starting from the assertion that looking evolved from the sea – eyes, in fact, evolved from marine algae – Reclaiming Vision takes the viewer on a journey through various ways of looking at, relating to and influencing nature. Toril Johannessen is an artist living in Tromsø in Norway. Perception and representation as historical and technological constructs are recurring themes in Johannessen’s artistic practice. Combining historical records with fiction and her own investigations, and with an attention to how science coexists with other systems of knowledge and belief, her works often have elements of storytelling in visual or written form. Most recent solo shows include Entrée and Trykkeriet, Bergen (2019); OSL Contemporary (2019), Munchmuseet on the Move, The Munch Museum, Oslo (2018) and Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen (2017). Brussels-based artist Marjolijn Dijkman’s practice addresses the human desire for knowledge, combining speculation with science in works that seem sci-fi in form. In reflecting on how institutionalised systems are relied on to assert the politics of assumed knowledge, her work proposes alternate knowledge systems. Her projects involve history museums, scientific enquiry and forms of collective imagination, manifesting in photographic archives and films, installations and sculpture. Futurology, museology, anthropology, cosmology and ecology are all areas the artist investigates. Dijkman has had solo shows most recently at NOME Gallery, Berlin, Munchmuseet, Oslo and fig‑2 at the ICA Studio. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions such as Contour Biennale 9, Mechelen, the 21st Biennale of Sydney and the 11th Shanghai Biennale.
48 minutes | May 25, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Anja Kanngieser – Listening to Ecocide
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Anja Kanngieser – Listening to Ecocide 22 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands For political geographer and sound artist Anja Kanngieser, sound is the sense mechanism that drives their work – from a documentary interlacing stories on resisting deep sea mining in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to an audio walk on rising sea levels. As an academic, their work creatively amplifies social justice claims around politics and climate change. Anja Kanngieser’s talk, aptly named Listening to Ecocide, addresses through sound the complexities faced by frontline Pacific communities. The Pacific Island of Nauru at the heart of the Pacific Ocean is the frontline of environmental crisis. Strip-mined by colonisers of its natural phosphate reserves, the backbone of industrial agriculture, the island nation has relied on Australia’s brutal offshore refugee incarceration régime for the last decade. With severe eco-systemic vulnerabilities – contaminated water, diminishing land, droughts and sea inundation – Nauru exemplifies the precarious position induced by extractive colonialism and racial capitalism. Bringing together site-specific audio recordings with Indigenous Nauruan voices campaigning for self-determination and self-representation, Kanngieser shows sound and listening as vital to understanding, and amplifying, the deep relations to land and sea that Nauruan’s hold and the complexities they face. Anja Kanngieser is a political geographer and sound artist based in Wollongong, Australia, who creatively investigates space and politics. In their work Anja begins with the premise of sound as a constant, a phenomenon that is always present – whether heard, felt, or sensed by human or non-human species and technologies. Their most current projects use testimony, field recording and data sonification to document and amplify social justice responses to the effects of climate change in the Pacific. In their first book, Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds (2013), they open up communication between urban groups to find common sites for protest around precarious living and working conditions, migration and higher education. Research interests include labour practices in China, sound technologies for mapping movement and micro radio in Japanese urban politics. In their most recent project, Climates of Listening, community-oriented social justice responses to climate change in the Pacific are amplified. A Vice Chancellors Fellow at the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at the University of Wollongong, Australia, their writing is widely published and they are an editorial board member of journal Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.
54 minutes | May 21, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Nabil Ahmed – Ecocide Forensics
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Nabil Ahmed – Ecocide Forensics 22 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands As founder of the project INTERPRT, artist, writer, researcher and musician Nabil Ahmed makes a clarion call for international criminal law to protect against ecological impunity. The environmental justice project that has worked with Princeton and renowned art institutions leans on spatial design to consider ecological visual culture, investigating at-risk regions like bio-diverse and conflict-ridden West Papua/Indonesia, endowed with the planet’s largest reserve of copper and gold. International criminal justice offers considerably limited protection to the environment and to the livelihoods and dignity of peoples. In West Papua, where the Papuans are fighting the longest self-determination struggle in the Pacific, the Indonesian state and minerals, natural gas and palm oil corporations are getting away with ecocide and crimes against humanity. Yet today, civil society groups, NGOs and journalists have expanded access to geospatial information, audiovisual media and open-source data to expose state violence and corporate crimes. Forensic truths acquired by non-state actors are increasingly admitted in legal contexts and for advocacy purposes. This lecture explores how spatial analysis and environmental forensics are put to work by INTERPRT to not only document underreported environmental offenses and human rights violations, but also in an effort to recognise ecocide as an international crime. First invoked during the Vietnam War, ecocide has the potential to be an effective tool for climate frontline governments and civil society in the fight against ecological impunity at the international criminal court and beyond. Nabil Ahmed holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is affiliated with Forensic Architecture. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the Academy of Fine Art in the architecture and design faculty at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is also founder of INTERPRT, which investigates environmental crimes using spatial analysis and advocates for the criminalisation of ecocide under international law. The group collaborates with international lawyers, research centres and civil society such as Princeton Science & Global Security and Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, and has exhibited projects at venues including Biennale Warszawa/Modern Art Museum in Warsaw and the Beirut Art Centre. INTERPRT is commissioned by TBA21 – Academy. Ahmed has written for Third Text, Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge and Architectural Review among others and is published in numerous books.
47 minutes | May 18, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: Terike Haapoja – Vulnerability, Community, Animality
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 Terike Haapoja – Vulnerability, Community, Animality – The Art of Being Here with Others 22 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands New York-based artist Terike Haapoja represented Finland at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). Her projects and collaborations, including those in collaboration with Laura Gustafsson, challenge human-centric perspectives. Gustafsson&Haapoja enacted a trial in which eight-year prison sentences were given for killing wolves and opened a museum for cattle. In 2019, their 16-speaker sound installation of pigs awaiting slaughter brought the animal factory to Zone2Source in Amsterdam. Terike Haapoja’s lecture Vulnerability, Community, Animality – The Art of Being Here with Others, takes 2020 as a landscape of deepening polarisation in the political sphere as well as between people and Earth’s other inhabitants. At the core of these divides is a question of the ‘we’ of political community, traditionally defined as ‘we the people’. On one side of the void looms white nationalism, closing borders and rising fascism. On the other, rights of nature and decolonial demands to dismantle the state apparatus. This void hides legal divides between things and persons, and ontological divides between subjects and objects: gendered and racialised mechanisms of making killable and making sovereign. How these divides have been constructed and how we could rethink them is at the core of Haapoja’s interdisciplinary work. Starting from her collaborative art projects, Haapoja approaches questions of animalisation, law, interspecies communality, vulnerability and ethics in relationship to art and its role in political change. Terike Haapoja is a visual artist based in New York. Haapoja’s large-scale installation work, publications, writings and political projects investigate the mechanics of othering with a specific focus on issues arising from the anthropocentric worldview of Eurocentric traditions. Haapoja represented Finland in the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) with a solo show in the Nordic pavilion, and her work has been awarded with several prizes, including ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art (2016), Dukaatti prize (2008) and an Ars Fennica Prize nomination and for her work with writer Laura Gustafsson as Gustafsson&Haapoja. Haapoja is an adjunct professor at Parsons Fine Arts and New York University.
38 minutes | May 14, 2020
Sonic Acts 2020: T. J. Demos – Beyond the End of the World
SONIC ACTS ACADEMY 2020 T. J. Demos – Beyond the End of the World 22 February 2020 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Celebrated writer T. J. Demos rarely leaves a seat empty at his talks on politics, ecology and art, often attending to decoloniality within nature. His most recent book addresses the occlusions embedded in the academic use of the term ‘Anthropocene’ (human-caused planetary change) in shielding problems as opposed to opening inroads for change made accessible by artists. This presentation discusses the ongoing research and exhibition project, Beyond the End of the World, directed by T. J. Demos of the Center for Creative Ecologies at University of California, Santa Cruz (beyond.ucsc.edu). In the wake of the end of multiple worlds, we already live in a post-apocalyptic present following countless genocides and colonialisms. With reference to diverse traditions of the oppressed, this year-long research project addresses what lies beyond dystopian catastrophism, past and present end-of-world narratives, and how we can imagine and cultivate radical futures of social justice and ecological flourishing. T. J. Demos is an award-winning writer and Professor of Visual Culture at University of California, Santa Cruz and Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. He writes widely about contemporary art, global politics and ecology and is the author, most recently, of Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (2017) and Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (2016). Demos co-curated Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, at Nottingham Contemporary in 2015 and organised Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid in 2014. He is currently working on a Mellon-funded research, exhibition and book project dedicated to the questions: ‘What comes after the end of the world?’ and ‘How can we cultivate futures of social justice within capitalist ruins?’ #politicsandart #ecologyandart #anthropocene #future #experimental art
48 minutes | Feb 17, 2020
Podcast: Sonic Acts x Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee - Arif in conversation with DeForrest Brown Jr.
@speakermusic speaks to @arifonline about the origins of techno, un/available historical nostalgia and a HECHA hat he is wearing that says: Make Techno Black Again. Music in this podcast is listed below. This is the third episode of the Sonic Acts x Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee podcast series on the occasion of Sonic Acts Academy 2020, taking place in Amsterdam 21 - 23 February. Read more about DeForrest Brown Jr. below. 2020.sonicacts.com Music: Speaker Music - with empathy The Other People Place - Let Me Be Me Speaker Music - without excess Young Paint & Actress - Travel Paint Zadie Smith on NPR DJ Stingray - Cognitive Load Theory Dopplereffekt - Technic 1200 Félicia Atkinson & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - And the Flower have Time For Me Speaker Music - Exercises in Black Quantum Drumming Heatsick - Déviation Félicia Atkinson & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Her Eyelids Say Fhloston Paradigm - ...all feat. Moor Mother Ashtar Lavanda - Opulence DeForrest Brown Jr. is a New York-based rhythmanalyst and media theorist. Brown’s praxis Speaker Music is inspired by Rhythmanalysis, a book of essays by urbanist philosopher Henri Lefebvre as well as considerations of momentum and the ‘chronopolitical’ from cultural theorist Kodwo Eshun. Mobilising free improvised electronic percussion and stereophonic audio recordings, Speaker Music yearns to caress, engineer and sculpt sentiment into a multi-textural rhythmic body, quivering the nexus event of the moment into a collapsed ‘nonpulsed time’ towards a shared sphere of intimacy. Mix, Production: Arif
45 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
Podcast: Sonic Acts x Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee – Leonardo Dellanoce in conversation with Lukáš Likavčan
Lukáš Likavčan and Leonardo Dellanoce speak about extinction, spectres and the game Death Stranding. They discuss how the future influences the present and how computer modelling fails to predict the Australian forest fires. This is the second episode of the Sonic Acts x Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee podcast series on the occasion of Sonic Acts Academy 2020, taking place in Amsterdam 21 - 23 February. Read more about the speakers below. 2020.sonicacts.com Theorist Lukáš Likavčan, who will speak at Sonic Acts Academy, collaborates on art projects, including the simulation alt’ai, questioning machine protocols in communicating with environments. Exploring imaginations of Earth from the impersonal, totalising view to one in which humans are environmental accidents at home anywhere, he finds resonance in a line from Holly Herndon’s Extreme Love (2019): ‘We are completely outside ourselves, and the world is completely inside us.’ Concluding his PhD in environmental studies at Masaryk University, Brno, he now teaches at Center for Audiovisual Studies at FAMU in Prague and Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. Likavčan just released a book Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, Strelka Press) that presents an analysis of visual cultures of imagining the Earth and the geopolitics of climate emergency. Leonardo Dellanoce, invited by Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee to host this conversation, is an art historian who explores technological realities using art and design as navigational tools. Collaboration is at the core of his practice, as he works with artists, spatial designers and theorists on a variety of projects. Among others, he is co-leading the cross-disciplinary research project Vertical Atlas: a Techno-political Cartography, and co-curating Digital Earth, a 6 month research fellowship for artists and designers in Africa and Asia. Currently, he is also editor of Volume magazine where he initiated the long-term research project Trust in the Blockchain Society.
33 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
Podcast: Sonic Acts x Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee – Ivan Cheng in conversation with Sadaf
Sadaf speaks to Ivan Cheng in this first episode of the Sonic Acts x Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee podcast series on the occasion of Sonic Acts Academy 2020, taking place in Amsterdam 21 - 23 February. Read more about both artists below. 2020.sonicacts.com Sadaf H Nava (Sadaf) is an Iranian-born, New York City-based composer and visual artist whose multidisciplinary interventions include sound, film, painting, performance and text. Sadaf’s layered and cinematic visuals, sonics and confrontational performative tactics oscillate between opacity and narrative. Her work upends the inward-looking affect inherent to contemporary performance, subverting the languages of auto-fiction and the artist/ muse. These original compositions comprise intuitive and clashing material inspired by contemporary global archaeologies of sound, always flirting with noise. Ivan Cheng, who is a regular on Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee, also edited this episode. He focuses within his practice on misunderstanding, abrasion and desire in the act of reading, often gesturing towards systems of power and reproduction. He also works as a performer, clarinettist, curator and writer. He holds an MFA in Critical Studies (Sandberg Instituut), having previously studied at the Royal Academy of Music and Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Text-based performances have been presented in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Amsterdam, Vilnius, Tokyo, Berlin, New York, Krakow, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Bonn & Köln. He initiates project space bologna.cc in Amsterdam. Photo by John Spyrou
27 minutes | May 27, 2019
Sonic Acts 2019: Rosi Braidotti – Necropolitics and Ways of Dying
SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL 2019 – HEREAFTER Rosi Braidotti – Necropolitics and Ways of Dying 22 February 2019 – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands with an introduction by Rick Dolphijn. What does it mean to die within the posthuman convergence, which positions us – humans and non-humans – between the Fourth Industrial Age and the Sixth Extinction? This contemporary convergence results in the shifting of boundaries between bio-power and necro-politics, life and death, the government of the living and the practices of dying. I will refer to a neo-materialist philosophy of non-human life as 'Zoe' and argue that both the concept of life and that of death need to be approached with more complexity and more attention to power differences. Rosi Braidotti is Distinguished University Professor and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. Her publications include: Patterns of Dissonance (1991), Metamorphoses (2002), Transpositions (2006), La philosophie, lá où on né l’attend pas (2009), Nomadic Subjects (1994; 2011), Nomadic Theory (2011), The Posthuman (2013). She recently co-edited Conflicting Humanities (2016) with Paul Gilroy and The Posthuman Glossary (2018) with Maria Hlavajova.
13 minutes | May 27, 2019
Sonic Acts 2019: Post-Screening Discussion with Maeve Brennan
SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL 2019 – HEREAFTER Post-Screening Discussion: Maeve Brennan in conversation with Mirna Belina 22 February – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Following the screening of Listening in the Dark (44 min, 2018), Maeve Brennan discusses the film with Mirna Belina and takes questions from the audience. Maeve Brennan’s film Listening in the Dark (44 min, 2018) takes a documentary approach, gathering a series of subtle yet penetrating soundings of human beings’ impact on the natural environment. Undisturbed, and largely unchanged for millions of years, bats’ nocturnal rhythms are being increasingly interrupted by the presence of wind turbines. While noting how such well-intentioned technological developments are affecting the atmosphere in ways we do not always appreciate, Brennan also illuminates how scientific research has revealed a whole sensory dimension that we were previously oblivious to. The film circles around the figure of Donald Griffin, pioneering zoologist and early advocate of animal consciousness, whose researches into bat navigation helped shape our understanding of the concept of echolocation. Following his example, Brennan reminds us, too, of other natural marvels – from the mysteries of animal evolution or the deep historical time of geology – that reveal not only our humbling insignificance in the bigger scheme of things, but also the disproportionate damage we are capable of doing to the planet. Director: Maeve Brennan; Director of photography: Jamie Quantrill; Editor: Mariko Montpetit; Producer: Laura Shacham Listening in the Dark was commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2018: Unintended Consequences, a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Film and Video Umbrella. Maeve Brennan is a London-based artist and filmmaker. Her recent solo exhibitions include Listening in the Dark at Jerwood Space, London, and Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin; The Drift at Chisenhale Gallery, London, and Spike Island, Bristol (all 2017); and Jerusalem Pink, OUTPOST, Norwich (2016). She was educated at Goldsmiths, University of London, and was a fellow of the Home Workspace Programme at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut (2013 – 14). She received the Jerwood/FVU Award 2018 and her film The Drift was screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam.
22 minutes | May 27, 2019
Sonic Acts 2019: Post-Screening Discussion with Tony Cokes
SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL 2019 – HEREAFTER Post-Screening Discussion: Tony Cokes in conversation with Mirna Belina. 23 February – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Following the screening of Black Celebration (1988, 17 min) Tony Cokes discusses the film with Mirna Belina and takes questions from the audience. In Black Celebration (1988, 17 min), Tony Cokes merges newsreel footage of riots in urban black neighbourhoods in the 1960s with popular music and text commentary to create an incisive counter-reading. ‘This videotape involves the riots that took place in the Watts section of Los Angeles, California in August, 1965 and the Black neighbourhoods of other American cities during the 1960s. The black and white work uses newsreel footage from events in Watts, Boston, Newark, and Detroit interspersed with text commentary. The newsreel voiceovers are replaced by music. The intent of the piece is to introduce a reading that will contradict received ideas which characterise these riots as criminal or irrational.’ (T.C.) Black Celebration was made for the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Text: Morrissey, Martin L. Gore, Barbara Kruger, The Situationists International; Music: Skinny Puppy; Editor: Eleanor Goldsmith. Tony Cokes makes video, installation, print, sound and other works that reframe appropriated texts to reflect upon capitalism, subjectivity, knowledge and pleasure. Cokes deploys sound as a crucial, intertextual element, complicating minimal visuals. He has shown works internationally at venues including Centre Georges Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, ZKM, REDCAT and La Cinémathèque Française. Cokes has screened at festivals including the Berlin Biennale X, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid and Oberhausen. Cokes is Professor in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, Providence, RI. His work is represented by Greene Naftali Gallery, New York.
38 minutes | May 27, 2019
Sonic Acts 2019: Post-Screening Discussion with Ephraim Asili
SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL 2019 – HEREAFTER Post-Screening Discussion: Ephraim Asili in conversation with Mirna Belina. 23 February – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Following the screening of American Hunger (2013, 19 min) and Fluid Frontiers (2017, 23 min) Ephraim Asili discusses the films with Mirna Belina and takes questions from the audience. In seven years, from 2011 to 2017, Ephraim Asili has completed a remarkable cycle of films called The Diaspora Suite about his relationship with the greater African diaspora. These films – Forged Ways, American Hunger, Many Thousands Gone, Kindah and Fluid Frontiers – document not only his travels across Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica and the United States, but also a personal meditation on the constructs surrounding African-American cultural identity. With his observational 16mm cinematography and evocative use of sound and music, Asili is both critical and speculative, listening intently to the resonances of words and gestures that span centuries and oceans. Oscillating between a street festival in Philadelphia, the slave forts and capital city of Ghana and the New Jersey shore, American Hunger (2013, 19 min) explores the relationship between personal experience and collective histories. American fantasies confront African realities. African realities confront American fantasies. Fluid Frontiers (2017, 23 min) is the final film in the Diaspora Suite. Shot along the Detroit River, it explores the relationship between concepts of resistance and liberation, exemplified by the Underground Railroad, Broadside Press and artworks of local Detroit artists. All of the poems are read from original copies of Broadside Press publications by natives of the Detroit Windsor region, and were shot without rehearsal. Ephraim Asili is a filmmaker, DJ and traveler whose work focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force. His films have been screened at festivals and venues all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, MoMA PS1, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Whitney Museum. As a DJ, Asili can be heard live at his monthly dance party Botanica. He currently resides in Hudson, NY, and is a professor in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College.
16 minutes | May 27, 2019
Sonic Acts 2019: Post-Screening Discussion with Louis Henderson
SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL 2019 – HEREAFTER Post-Screening Discussion: Louis Henderson 23 February – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Following the screening of Bring breath to the death of rocks (2018, 34 min)(work in progress) Louis Henderson discusses the films with Mirna Belina. ‘I feel this force that draws me towards the invisible doorway, and it is like a fire burning in my stiffened limbs. So I must walk through the fields of snow… there, to where my resting place is already prepared.’ (Édouard Glissant, Monsieur Toussaint, 1961) Wandering from a study of the handwritten memoirs of Toussaint Louverture in the French National Archives to the prison cell in the Jura mountains in which they were written, Bring breath to the death of rocks (2018, 34 min) proposes an archaeology of the colonial history of France buried within its landscapes and institutions. Many millions of years ago the Jura was a tropical ocean, as it metamorphosed into the mountain range it is today it left behind large sedimented layers of time, creating the strata that fold along the horizon line. If stratigraphy is the writing of strata, here we have a reading of this strata in which the fossilised history of Louverture can be brought to life through a geologic haunting. The film dramatises the escape of Louverture’s ghost from his castle prison (through the body of a young Haitian researcher) into a form of marronage and errantry within the fields of snow and a dark baroque-like cave. Through historical détournement the past is revisited in order to imagine an alternative future, and in doing so the film offers what Glissant described in the introduction to his play Monsieur Toussaint as ‘a prophetic vision of the past’. We hear an echo, a spiral retelling. Featuring extracts of text from Monsieur Toussaint by Édouard Glissant (1959) and Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (1939) by Aimé Césaire. Actor: Jephthé Carmil, DOP: Diana Vidrascu, Editor: Louis Henderson, Producer: Olivier Marboeuf, Spectre Productions. Work in progress. Louis Henderson is a filmmaker who is trying to find new ways of working with people to address and question our current global condition defined by racial capitalism and ever-present histories of the European colonial project. Interested in exploring the sonic space of images, his work aims to develop an archaeological method in cinema, listening to the echoes and spirals of the stratigraphic. Since 2017, Henderson has been working within the artist group The Living and the Dead Ensemble. Based between Haiti and France, they focus on theatre, song, slam, poetry and cinema. Henderson has shown his work at various film festivals, exhibitions and biennials worldwide. His work is in the public collection of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, France, and is distributed by LUX and Video Data Bank.
35 minutes | May 15, 2019
Sonic Acts 2019: Rick Dolphijn – (The Earth Demands) The Necropolitics of Art
SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL 2019 – HEREAFTER Rick Dolphijn – (The Earth Demands) The Necropolitics of Art 22 February – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands with an introduction by Lucas van der Velden 'The present… is what we are, and thereby, what already we are ceasing to be.' (Deleuze and Guattari) In the first part of this talk, Rick Dolphijn will discuss the necropolitics of art. He will talk of the difficult relation that art has with the present and why the power of art is not ‘finite’ (not limited to any form of ‘extension’). Art shares this ‘infinity’ only with philosophy. This ‘infinity’ also shows that art does not run parallel to a human life, that it knows no beginning (birth) or end (death), but that it keeps on negotiating its relationship to the present. The second part of the talk claims that art therefore is, necessarily a philosophy of nature and that it envisions for us another world (which was always already there). Rick Dolphijn is an associate professor based at Humanities, Utrecht University, with an interest in transdisciplinary research at large. He wrote Foodscapes, Towards a Deleuzian Ethics of Consumption (2004), New Materialism: Interviews and Cartographies with Iris van der Tuin (2012) and is finishing his new monograph The Cracks of the Contemporary; A Meditation on Art, Wounds and a Damaged Earth. He edited This Deleuzian Century: Art, Activism, Life with Rosi Braidotti (2014 – 5) and Philosophy after Nature (2017). Most recently he published and edited volume entitled Michel Serres and the Crises of the Contemporary. At Sonic Acts Academy 2018, Dolphijn curated a conference block What, of Art, Belongs to the Present? with students and scholars from the Research School for Media Studies (RMeS). This year, he is joining Sonic Acts as an organiser of the large project including a seminar Exploring Death… and Ways to Live, close reading session Still Alive and Already Dead and a workshop A Necropolitics of Life (RMeS, February), with a final output at the Sonic Acts conference featuring lectures by Rosi Braidotti and Susanne M. Winterling.
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