Acousmatic Paranoia is attuned to the ways in which resonant frequencies can modulate psychological, physiological and architectural spaces of conflict. From high frequency crowd control systems and directional ultrasound technology to military research in hypersonicity and other uses of the inaudible, acousmatic sound evades our perception and evolves toward increasingly pervasive forms of control. Expanding on the artistic practice of Sung Tieu (b. 1987, Vietnam), the series explores the sonic mobilisation of bodies in conflict scenarios, auditory governance and the psychoacoustic dimensions of fear, featuring contributions by AUDINT members Steve Goodman (Kode9), Toby Heys and Eleni Ikon.
In Time Études, composer and musician Maxwell Sterling offers a critical appraisal of metric and rhythmic articulation in the Western musical tradition. For this newly commissioned cello composition, Sterling created an audio palimpsest in which he attempts to approach melody and harmony in new rhythmic ways.
In Death Grip (2019), visual artist Diana Policarpo offers a critical revision of the violence enacted against women and non-human bodies in the Himalayan regions of Northern India and Western Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Sonically exploring a caterpillar fungus species through an electroacoustic composition and spoken word, her video narrates the speed of extinction, whilst folding magic, mystical and animist practices into a narrative of healing and economic progress.
On view between 2-5 April, Neves Marques’ short film-essay explores the sexual imaginary of botanists such as Carl Linnaeus to consider the post-natural conditions governing current biotechnology, the colonial management of reproduction, as well the representation and indexation of life forms past and present.
Sound is too often absent from histories that have relied upon available evidence for their telling. Illustrating this through the example of the nineteenth century production of sugar in slave-operated Cuban mills, historian Jonathan Curry-Machado explores what might be gained by opening our ears to the sounds of the plantation and asks how an attempt to reconstruct the sounds of the past may help us engage with, and learn from, unspoken histories of global commodities.
Expanding on the lace-inspired design for Nottingham Contemporary’s Gallery Zero, in this week-long viewing, artist and curator, Lorenzo Sandoval uses the sonic to investigate connections between the collectivisation of textile factories during the Spanish Civil War and the historical absence of anarchist resistance from the country’s museum collections.
In the textual score and sonic work ‘Against Voices’, visual artist Urok Shirhan attempts to think through the conditions of a ‘post-pandemic’ world in its consequences for public speech and collective voicing.
‘What is the sound of solidarity?’, asks artist and researcher Andrew Brooks. Can we find it in the music of a burning police car? Or in the thunderous enunciation of a collective chant? Or in hushed whispers that hatch a plan? Is it a sound that reverberates with grief and rage? Is it a noise of possibility and promise, excess and escape?
The second of a three-part audio essay takes Partition as a sonic environment in which resistance and repetition reverberate, disputing ordinary notions of time and event. It follows the trajectories of the Urdu revolutionary poem Hum Dekhenge (‘We Shall Witness’) and Hindi protest-performance Hum Bharat Ke Log (‘We the People’).
In ‘Owed to Perpetual Healing’, artist and researcher Hannah Catherine Jones articulates and responds to the current socio-political climate through the healing frequencies, 528 Hz and 432 Hz. In this podcast, Jones asks how we navigate the interlocking pandemics and presents carefully selected tracks tuned to create space for simultaneous grieving, catharsis and hope.
While the late 1800s saw territorial borders constructed across Africa, the early 1900s saw boundaries being placed on musical repertoires. In this essay, curator and researcher Bhavisha Panchia reflects on the 1932 Cairo Congress of Arab Music to review the Western systematisation of Arabic modes and explores forms of sonic resistance to the apparent neutrality of Western musical standards in today’s digital music tools.
In this listening-session, artist and filmmaker Louis Henderson discusses four records produced in industrial cities in the UK during the years of Margaret Thatcher’s reign. Proposing music as a particularly fertile site of developing solidarity and resistance to the violence of Thatcher’s neoliberal and racist police state, the essay listens out for the influence of the techniques of echo and delay, connecting the struggles of migrant workers from the Caribbean and the British miners and factory workers.
In this weeklong sonic offering, artist Tabita Rezaire explores the sonic landscapes of the celestial realms. Taking form as a meditative lecture-listening-observation, it listens out for cosmological, scientific and yogic sonic manifestations of astral beginnings across various cosmologies and ritual traditions.
Voices, as artefacts of the historical event of Partition, carry multiple worlds. This audio paper pivots personal testimony, archival footage and fable around the British destruction of colonial records in its former territories. In the first of three episodes, artist and researcher Syma Tariq explores the sonic protocols that come into play in the context of colonial erasure.
In this fictional essay by Nottingham Contemporary’s writer in residence, Jota Mombaça considers forms of enclosure produced by the current ‘Global Biopolitical Siege’ and its increased militarisation, surveillance, and social disintegration through a speculative take on collectivity, sensibility, and anxiety.
This broadcast explores the entwined histories of radio and protest to consider how the voice of authority has been deployed across North America and Palestine to violent ends. In response REH 001 reimagines this voice as something embodied, multiple, and embryonic.
What are the dreams and aspirations of an infective agent? What can a virus desire? In this essay, writer Filipa Ramos dwells on the agency of the SARS-CoV-2 as a way to envisage a harmonious attunement between the living and non-living forces of our planet.
By disjointing acts of listening from the ear and its particular arrangement of time, Sonic Continuum proposes a shift from representation to expression and asks: can sound restitute failures to listen? How might we listen to time affectively? What auditory imaginaries and possible futures can listening unfold?