The Sonic Agent
Workshop with Brandon LaBelleThe workshop is aimed at exploring socio-political understandings of sound, and will attempt to map out how sound may provide means for enriching the complexity of social life. This will be developed through the idea of sonic agency, or the sonic agent. What kinds of alliances might sound and listening enable? Are there specific experiences and productions to which sound is particularly conducive? How might sound be used in support of forms of intervention and interaction, as well as fiction and imagination? The sonic agent will be used as a guide for directing a process of critical reflection and practice. This will be elaborated through considering The Invisible, The Over-Heard, The Weak, and the Transient as possible figures, or agents of sonic intervention. These agents will allow for deepening acoustical thinking and relations, especially those that may move us from the major narrative of political crisis and disenfranchisement toward new expressions of agency, empathy, secret association, and occupation. Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice, and questions of agency. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. His artistic work has been presented at South London Gallery (2016), Liquid Architecture, Melbourne (2015), ngbk, Berlin (2014), Whitney Museum, NY (2012), Image Music Text, London (2011), Sonic Acts, Amsterdam (2010), A/V Festival, Newcastle (2008, 2010), Instal 10, Glasgow (2010), Museums Quartier/ Tonspur, Vienna (2009), 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Allegro (2009). Also a prolific writer, his books include Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and the Oral Imaginary (2014), Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian (2012), Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (2010), and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (2015/2006). He is the editor of Errant Bodies Press and Professor at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.