Track 6: Sound within Bodies, Moist Media Practices, Environment and Life-World: Organisms, Geology and Ecological Niches

Track Chairs: Laura Beloff (Associate Professor & Head of PhD School, IT-University, Copenhagen), Dolores Steinman (Senior Research Associate, University of Toronto), Michelle Lewis-King (Associate Professor in Technoetic Arts, Roy Ascott Studios at De Tao Masters Academy, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts), Anna Nacher (Associate Professor at the Institute of Audiovisual Arts, Jagiellonian University), Anna Nacher (Associate Professor at the Institute of Audiovisual Arts, Jagiellonian University), Agnieszka Jelewska (Associate Professor at the Interdisciplinary Research Center Humanities/Art/Technology),  Adam Mickiewicz (University Michał Krawczak, Assistant Professor at the Interdisciplinary Research Center Humanities/Art/Technology, Adam Mickiewicz University)

The track attempts to bring forth the wide area of sound-art based practices and theories that are concerned with embodied, fleshy, moist, medical, scientific, environmental approaches and formulations. The topics may address sound in relation to bodies of biological organisms (humans and non-humans), natural environment, ecology and geology.

The track is organized in 3 sessions and we welcome proposals which address the focus of one of the specified session themes below. However, we also welcome proposals addressing the track’s general theme.

1. Session: Sound, Bodies and the Life-world – Dolores Steinman and Michelle Lewis-King.

Throughout history sound has evolved intertwined with the human life-world. Recent interest in the field of art, science & technology and the long trajectory of media-arts practices have impacted upon sound to develop as a type of aesthetic marker for various biological and body-based processes.

This session focuses on sound used to express, detect, communicate and build knowledge (medical and other) of the body; sound used in the creation of body-based experiences, embodied communication (‘real’ or imagined) and body-environment relations; as well as sonic practices that engage in feminist, inter-sectional, queer, post-colonial approaches to embodied sound knowledge production.

2. Session: Sound in the cross-section of biological and technological. Laura Beloff, Dolores Steinman and Michelle Lewis-King.

Various sound-based investigations of the environment from microscopic- to planetary-scale have advanced human knowledge of the surrounding animate and inanimate world. This session focuses on theoretical approaches and practice-based reflections on sound in hybrid constellations of living organisms, the mineral world and technology at large. The session is specifically interested in relations between humans, non-humans, robots, minerals, plants, artificial intelligence, the earth and the universe that are expressed or investigated with sound; as well as on practices such as synthetic biology, gene-editing, other laboratory-practices, field-work in non-/natural environments, geology-based approaches and perceptions on ecological niches in relation to sound practices.

3. Session: Resounding ‘Dark’ Ecologies: Sound-Walking revisited – Anna Nacher, Agnieszka Jelewska, and Michał Krawczak.

The session will interrogate the different ways in which sound-based art practices have been increasingly seen as the form of environmental research, often framed as a walking practice (both in the classic methodologies of sound walking and its contemporary modifications). We are particularly interested in how listening (both mediated and unmediated) addresses the nature of environmental change, including listening beyond human sensorial capabilities, also with the focus on blurring the boundaries between natural and artificial. We invite the contributions investigating the multiple forms of grasping the sound phenomena, ranging from the acts of mediation through the relatively simple recording technology  to the more elaborate cases of data sonification, addressing the various modes of materiality through the concepts of oscillations, vibrations and the tension between pattern and chaos.