I had the pleasure of catching the first Bangkok Art Biennale last week, and so have written a mini guide to the sound art, or sound focused works exhibited. Have a read on sound-art-text, the excellent website by my collaborator Hannah Kemp Welch: https://sound-art-text.com/post/182480760623/sound-art-guide-to-bangkok-art-biennale-bab-2018
image of Joscha Steffens' installation Dream hack
Reel Lives concert series will be playing Virtual Voices, an 8 channel work by Hannah Kemp-Welch & I. This three part concert series is curated by Cathy Lane as part of the Reel Lives exhibition. Book on eventbrite.
Artists include Ain Bailey, Caroline Bergvall, Kate Carr, Viv Corringham, Poulomi Desai, Caroline Devine, Lisa Hall and Hannah Kemp-Welch, Cathy Lane, Lina Lapelyte, Brona Martin, Else M’bala and Karen Power
Virtual Voices reviews the current use of automated voices in our cities - considering how human presence is represented through recorded and digitally manipulated sound, and how this is used to direct our behaviour. The work questions how automation has been implemented, re-visioning the positive changes that voice technology could bring to working lives if social good were considered over profit motive.
"It seems as if an invisible, disembodied workforce has moved into the cities. A workforce who have replaced certain roles such as train operators, ticket inspectors, check-out sellers and lift operators. They are becoming more and more present, sounding out from new devices, serving new roles, talking more, and more, and more. Yet who are they?"
Virtual Voices articulates this workforce: hearing it's many mouths and many heads that speak simultaneously across great distances, hearing it's limited representation of the population, it's gender bias, and it's embodiment in the machinery it speaks from - the lumps of technology now clothed in a sonic human identity. Looking to the future, the work proposes how we could shape a positive automated future - one that doesn't result in mass unemployment or misrepresentation, but supports the anti-work movement's call for "The Right To Be Lazy". In support of this the artists commit their own voices into a hybrid synthetic persona, creating their own virtual workforce to speak on their behalf.
Virtual Voices is part of the project Listening for Instruction - a sonic survey reviewing the current position of automated sounds in our cities.
15 November 2018 | 3-4pm workshop (RSVP) | 4-4.30pm Talk
Listening for Instruction Workshop:
Add an entry into the Delhi “Dictionary of Beeps” - a zine that catalogues and defines the automated sounds heard in the city. Listen for the beeps, bips, hisses, tones and sirens, that sound out from busses, trains, passing vehicles and beyond;
/(pu) (pe) (pu) (pe) (pu) (pe) /
/ (e) (aaaaaaa) /
Through sound walks in the city, we’ll record, visualise and interpret the meaning of these sounds - for inclusion in a Delhi edition of a “Dictionary of Beeps”.
The “Dictionary of Beeps” was created during a listening survey in London (UK) by Lisa Hall and Hannah Kemp-Welch, to better understand the automated sonic landscape that is becoming more and more present in our urban spaces. These sounds of automation are often described simply as ‘beeps’ and ‘sirens’ yet they differ wildly and can convey complex information. They are designed to grab our attention, yet their ubiquity means they often fade into the background. In effect they form a language of the machinery that we interact with in our urban spaces, becoming the voice of the moving electronic limbs, objects and buildings around us.
“Dictionary of Beeps” is made in conjunction with two sound work “Virtual Voices”, currently exhibited at Sound Reasons Festival and 'Journey' as part of the 'Listening for Instruction' project.
******RSVP for the workshop to; ish(at)soundreasons.in or lisa_hall_(at)hotmail.co.uk******
Listening for Instruction Talk:
A short gallery talk with Lisa Hall at 4pm will give an overview of the project Listening for Instruction which includes the exhibited work Virtual Voices and the Dictionary of Beeps workshop.
Korean Cultural Center, New Delhi
Sound Reasons Festival http://soundreasons.in/festival/
Virtual Voices, a collaborative work made with Hannah Kemp-Welch, is on show at Sound Reasons Festival till 21 Nov.
Exhibited at Sound Reasons Festival, Virtual Voices is part of an ongoing project “Listening for Instruction” by Lisa Hall and Hannah Kemp-Welch - a sonic survey that investigates the automated sounds of our urban environments. Attempting to hear between the lines - to decipher the beeps and bips of automated machinery, to hear beyond the words of the synthetic voices and to imagine a new future of automation.
Venzha Christ, Marcus Maeder, Shun Owada, Arnont Nongyao, Salomé Voegelin, Ish S, Cathy Lane, da Saz, Suvani Suri, Paul Purgas, diFfuSed beats, Lisa Hall & Hannah Kemp-Welch, Wicked Mannequins, Bidisha Das, Kaushal Sapre and Dipali Gupta
Curators Note, by Ish S:
For the second and the third ReINSTALL sessions of the Sound Reasons Festival VI, we have engaged with the possibilities of Sound and its capabilities to make unseen connections, to hold un-assumed narratives and produce curative and creative tensions. While expanding upon the spectrum of the potentiality in Sound, we want to initiate a listening experience using artistic explorations and inter-media intersections.
In these works there is an interplay of text, video, synthesis, sampling, narratives with other creative practices and musique concrete processes. We conduct a curative dialogue with other mediums in which a listener is invited to explore its generative phenomenological possibilities rather than preserve/observe the actuality of the sonic event(s). It is therefore listening into a world, in order to hear what all it could be – to reconsider the frame of current actuality and explore the complexity of its sonic perceptions. This curative iteration is a thin slice of the sonic spectrum that reveals not just itself, but also opens up to newer resonating worlds for a listener, where the aim is to illuminate and generate the dynamically plural possibilities and not to just categorise and preserve it as a soundscape.
Very pleased to be working in residence at ISRO in December - I’ll be testing out some new ideas for works based around the sounding body in urban habitats.
About the ISRO:
The Indian Sonic Research Organisation is a collective of instrument builders and artists dedicated to the proliferation of experimental music and sound art. We experiment with old and new technologies including DIY and home-made instruments made with discarded electronics and found objects. We run a community music lab where we make, perform, teach and collaborate through workshops, performances and artist residencies. Our independent record label disseminates works by Asian composers, sound artists and musicians from India and abroad.
I had the pleasure of launching this lovely thing at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry the other weekend, working with Kaffe and the BRI and Nick of Imagineer Technologies. Having spent a week earlier in the year with Kaf and Nick in the cov lab developing this into it's earlier stages of prototype, and following many discussions in the BRI London lab in earlier years about making sonic cycling more accessible to people of all ages and abilities - it was amazing to meet the final product and then help lots of enthusiastic people have a go on it.
The Buzz Bike is quite an experience to ride and to be ridden in - the whole cargo box vibrates the music to you through transducers set along it's sides, in accompaniment to the speakers flank the edges of the box playing audible sound. Even the rider's seat vibrates thanks to the butt shaker below it. Plus the unique steering and smooth riding make it a joy to cycle. Kaf had composed a piece for the launch that used organ samples and field recordings, based from her recent work On golden hares, a sonic bike opera that's on now in Germany, and it made for the most dreamy rides.
Ultimately this sonic Buzz Bike is being made for a big sonic bike opera opening in Coventry in 2021, set along an exciting new canal side cycle path opening then. Part two of the weird and wonderful bicycle creations commissioned by Imagineer Productions for this will be a sonic 'Pal' / 'companion' bike, brilliantly described by Kaf as possibly the most dangerous BRI idea yet.... but if it works, this side-by-side tandem, with GPD located sound compositions is going to be something else.
Full details on the sonic Buzz Bike are on the BRI website.
Our new work, Listening for Instruction, by myself and Hannah Kemp Welch is now up at Fringe Arts Bath's exhibition 'It Sounds Devicive. Show'. On till June 10 - info here: www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/devicive
If you're not in Bath this week, have a listen online to some extracts and have a digital flip through the zine: Listening for Instruction
Hannah and I are showing a new work in this exhibition investigating themes of devices & machines that surround us creating sound all day, every day. More details.
Hannah and I are taking our Laziness Lounge to Soundling Festival this Sunday - performing it through a sonic game of cards as Sonic Sloth
With anti-work theory texts and sounds of relaxation, we'll be sounding out a space for consideration of a life without 'jobs'.
We're on at 1.30, Canvas Cafe, Brick Lane. Full details here.
There's a great line up through the rest of the festival too - Riot Ensemble & Heather Roche, Cath Roberts, Dee Byrne, Ute Kanngiesser, Crystabel Riley, Ingrid Plum, Poulomi Desai, a Free Improv Workshop, a Turntable Workshop which includes works by; Jennifer Walshe, Pauline Oliveros, Ingrid Plum and Ryoko Akama and a pop up record store on Sunday too.
The festival is celebrating new music created by non-cis-male artists as a response to growing social concerns over equality in the arts and worldwide. Full details here.
For older blog posts: www.lisa--hall.blogspot.com