Social Acoustics is an artistic research collaboration between the Departments of Contemporary Art and Music at the University of Bergen. The project is led by Prof Jill Halstead and Prof Brandon LaBelle and focuses on listening, socially engaged arts, relationality and sound, and on how these contribute to practices and discourses of embodiment and community.
Social Acoustics focuses on the potentialities of sound’s relational, material and artistic qualities. In particular, the project engages sound as a productive medium for nurturing collaboration and an ethics of radical openness, and for challenging models of knowledge and agency defined by the apparent, the legible and the quantifiable.
Sounds are deeply relational enabling gestures of compassion and sharing as well as disruption and cacophony. Social Acoustics asks how forms of sonic practice might contribute to contemporary struggles exploring if there are particular discourses on embodiment and community to be drawn from the experiences of audition. Might certain affordances be garnered by way of sonic knowledge, particularly to challenge what Isabell Lorey terms “governing through insecurity” prevalent today?