INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL AND CONFERENCE ON SOUND IN THE ARTS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
SEPTEMBER 7TH-9TH 2016
TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONES 2016
One of the reasons we value sound as a perceptual and phenomenological event is that it allows for the creation of new types of sensory engagement with space. Creative processes of sounding allow us to design different types of sound worlds; places which can become autonomous zones. Lefebvre, in his seminal text The Production of Space, alludes to the concept of autonomous zones or imagined spaces; places which are imagined and created by community.
The idea of how we create and respond to autonomous zones is the subject of this year’s ISSTA festival as it comes to Northern Ireland for the first time, fostering a range of artistic, technological and academic interventions in Derry/Londonderry entitled Temporary Autonomous Zones 2016. A Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ), as defined by the poet and anarchist cultural theorist Hakim Bey, is more than just a distinct space; it is a space in control of itself, in that it does not recognise outside authority.
Bey suggests that a festival or event has the potential to act as a moment of intense uprising and creative disruption, which allows for the creation of a TAZ, a guerrilla moment of positive revolutionary acts and art. In our present period of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, mass movements of people across territories are coinciding with the beginnings of exclusionary zones in Europe. It is in this context that this year’s ISSTA festival seeks to create a series of Temporary Autonomous Zones–new unmapped and self-determining sonic, conceptual and social spaces–which assert, for a time, their independence from existing structures through discussions of creative and technological practices and research, and through the artistic works themselves.
We look forward to inviting artists, scholars, technologists and other practitioners to Derry/Londonderry to investigate and play with some of these questions. From the historic autonomous zones of the 17th–century walled city of Londonderry to the autonomous commune of Free Derry (1969–72) to the highs, lows and contradictions of becoming the first UK City of Culture and even to its contested name and identity, we hope that Derry/Londonderry will offer a stimulating context for sharing participants’ work and ideas.
This year, we are seeking works of art, research papers, performances, compositions and workshops that engage with the concept of autonomous zones and the social spaces of sound and technology:
- We hope that designers and technologists will take advantage of the temporary autonomous zones of our interdisciplinary conference to engage with more ‘blue sky’, speculative or conceptual aspects of their work.
- We hope that artists, cultural researchers and thinkers will find inspiration from these various perspectives on space as defined, expressed and contested through sound, technology and culture.
We will be working in the city of Derry/Londonderry, a space traditionally defined by zones of ethno–religious and political difference, spaces that are mapped, marked and articulated by performances of difference, but also by creative communities. We are therefore particularly open to the idea of collaborative projects which have a community outreach aspect to them.
We propose to take the approach of the TAZ guerrilla ontologist: making a mark, a difference, without violence!
Artists are encouraged to submit proposals for site-specific work involving Derry/Londonderry as urban environment, (we will be circulating more information about the environs). We will also have partnerships with local galleries and may also provide for situating pieces at various sites in the city in consultation with artists. Supplementary details will be made available on some of the sites and spaces.
The call is open to all practitioners regardless of nationality. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation. Registration for ISSTC 2016 is required for participation.
Submissions will be due April 4th, 2016. Notifications will be sent by June 4th, 2016.
R. Murray Schafer’s keynote speech at the 2011 World Forum for Acoustic Ecology in Corfu, Greece.
Earlid’s second annual Liminal Sounds invites short works listening to the intermediary. Submit by January 8, 2016.
SoCCoS is a residency and research network engaging with exploratory music, sound art and culture. It provides residency opportunities via exchange of artists, cultural workers and theorists. Through the residencies SoCCoS offers time and space away from known environment and everyday routines, to discover new sites, different cultures of sound art and source materials, to develop special skills and expand artistic networks.
A true state of listening cannot be acquired by force. The order to listen – LISTEN! we all have heard and experienced it – guarantees a closing off, a turning away, a non-listening, possibly even a permanent disturbance in our once open and trusting listening channels. It is perceived like any sound
that annoys, disrupts, hurts, or injures: we cringe, we try to block it out, might fight it, may want to get rid of it, but we will not listen.
By its very nature listening is a continual and gentle process of opening. We usually know when we are in that place of perceptual receptivity and we know when we have lost it. Listening is never static, cannot be held on to, and in fact needs to be found again and again.
As such, it is disruptive in its nature. Paradoxically, while a grounded and calm state of mind, a sense of safety, peace and relaxation are essential for inspiring perceptual wakefulness and a willingness and desire to open our ears, normal routines, habits and patterns will be disrupted and laid bare in such a process of listening; noises and discomforts inevitably will be noticed, and all kinds of
experiences will be stirred and uncovered. Listening in fact implies a preparedness to meet the unpredictable and unplanned, to welcome the unwelcome. How do we
reach such a state of listening, why would we want to?