Critical Histories, Strategies and Practices

This track focuses on the role that curators play in the production, positioning and reception of Sound Art, as well as the particularities of its exhibition. We welcome proposals that address the themes as explained in more detail below. However, this track also welcomes proposals addressing its general theme.

Track chairs:

  • Jason van Eyk
  • Liora Belford

Session 1:

From 1960’s through the 1980’s, an ever-expanding exploration of sound occurred within the visual arts field, helping give birth to Sound Art (and its exhibition) as a unique genre. Under the ‘sonic turn,’ the sum of Sound Art shows has grown exponentially, reaching into major Western art institutions and beyond. Lending such space and resources to the category, and in such a focused manner, has invited the possibility for curators to develop more substantial investigations into a diverse range rapidly emerging sonic practices. Yet, very little work has gone into understanding how these exhibitions act as their own mode of inquiry, means of research and form of philosophy. Therefore, this session calls for paper that help build a critical history of Sound Art exhibitions in response to these conditions.

Session 2:

Contemporary curators can help us generatively wrestle with entrenched barriers and contradictions found within the thinking about Sound Art. In experimenting with new compositional approaches, such curators have attempted to dismantle old historical divides and theoretical traps. How do curators – especially the composer/artist-as-curator –successfully engage Sound Art as it presses up against institutional rigidities to successfully address their conceptual, material and exhibitionary intricacies? How does their role influence the production, positioning and reception of Sound Art? This session calls for paper that seek to answer these questions.