Sonic Engagement : The Ethics and Aesthetics of Community Engaged Audio Practice book cover
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Sonic Engagement
The Ethics and Aesthetics of Community Engaged Audio Practice




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ISBN 9780367758370
December 16, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
384 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Sonic Engagement examines the relationship between community engaged participatory arts and the cultural turn towards audio, sound, and listening that has been referred to as the "sonic turn."

This edited collection investigates the use of sound and audio production in community engaged participatory arts practice and research. The popularity of podcast and audio drama, combined with the accessibility and portability of affordable field recording and home studio equipment, makes audio a compelling mode of participatory creative practice. This book maps existing projects occurring globally through a series of case study chapters that exemplify community engaged creative audio practice. The studies focus on audio and sound-based arts practices that are undertaken by artists and arts-led researchers in collaboration with (and from within) communities and groups. These practices include - Applied audio drama, community-engaged podcasting, sound and verbatim theatre, participatory sound art, community-led acoustic ecology, sound and media walks, digital storytelling, oral history and reminiscence, and radio drama in health and community development. The contributors interrogate the practical, political, and aesthetic potentialities of using sound and audio in community engaged arts practice, as well as its tensions and possibilities as an arts-led participatory research methodology.

This book provides the first extensive analysis of what sound and audio brings to participatory interdisciplinary arts-led research and practice, representing a vital resource for community arts, performance practice, and research in the digital age.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Contributors

Introduction: Distilling an Interdisciplinary Approach

Sarah Woodland and Wolfgang Vachon

PART 1

First Knowledges First

Introduction

1. Bu’ra’nga’man | Dadirri | Yimbilli: Echoes of Listening to Country

Bianca Beetson, Vicki Saunders, Sarah Woodland, and Leah Barclay

PART 2
Sonic Knowing: Meaning and Resonance

Introduction

2. Audio drama inquiry: A telling method of research

Wolfgang Vachon

3. What does a cellphilm (cellphone + film production + intention) sound like? The ethics and aesthetics of cellphilm method

Casey Burkholder and Katie MacEntee

4. Composing place: Creating participatory sound portraits and compilations

Maureen Flint, Morgan Shiver and Ryanne Whyte

5. The radio play as restorative justice education: A creative collaboration between a grassroots organisation and artists

Tanyss Knowles and Frank J. Tester

PART 3

Sonic Assembly: Building Communities and Publics

Introduction

6. More-than-social listening: Undercover engagements and undoing auditory norms

Jill Halstead and Brandon LaBelle

7. Reinscribing the noise: New media walk technologies and the politics of community engagement

Christos Carras and Eric Lewis

8. Hyper-listening and co-listening: Reflections on sound, selfhood, and solidarity

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay

9. I make noise therefore I am: Aesthetics of sonic experimentation in participatory art and culture

Vadim Keylin

PART 4

Sonic Disruptions: Creating Auditory Counter-Narratives

Introduction

10. Sound travels faster over water: Sonically re-designing institutional aural architecture with The Verbatim Formula

Maggie Inchley and Sylvan Baker

11. Yellow Couch Convos Podcast series: Navigating identity politics through collective voices and counternarratives

Rosemary (Rosa) Cisneros

12. Many Worlds in One Place: Composition as a Site of Encounter

Toby Young

13. Odyssey on the airwaves: A journey from HMP to hope

Gary Anderson and Niamh Malone

PART 5

Sonic Resistance: Soundscapes of Protest and Activism

Introduction

14. Engaging communities in listening to ecosystems: Case studies from acoustic ecology research in Australia and Mexico

Leah Barclay

15. Aural counterpublic resistance: Noise, silence, and acoustical agency in protest tactics

Nimalan Yoganathan

16. Street hassle: Noise, art, and activism

Mitchell Akiyama, in conversation with Don’t Rhine and Syrus Marcus Ware

Concluding Acknowledgement

Index

List of Contributors

Mitchell Akiyama is a Toronto-based scholar, composer, and artist. His eclectic body of work includes writings about sound, metaphors, animals, and media technologies; scores for film and dance; and objects and installations that trouble received ideas about history, perception, and sensory experience. He is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto.

Gary Anderson, Associate Professor of Drama at Liverpool Hope University, publishes on performance and its relationship to Spinozism. His most recent publication is ‘Laruelle prefers heresy to revolution: Non-philosophy and live art’ in Art Disarming Philosophy: Non-Philosophy and Aesthetics (Rowman and Littlefield), edited together with Niamh Malone.

Sylvan Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He is co-founder and Co-investigator of TVF, and also of the Medical Research Council funded Re-Star, a multi-disciplinary practice research project working to support the mental wellbeing of neurodiverse young people.

Leah Barclay is a sound artist, designer, and acoustic ecologist whose work investigates the value of acoustic ecology as a socially engaged interdisciplinary practice. She is the Discipline Lead of Design at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia and Vice President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.

Casey Burkholder (she/her) is an Associate Professor at the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Education. Her research program centres on work with 2SLGBTQ+ youth and pre-service teachers to agitate for social change through participatory visual research approaches. Casey’s recent research and projects can be seen at https://caseyburkholder.com 

Bianca Beetson (Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi) is a visual artist, curator, and arts leader with a background in community engaged arts practice. She is Director of the Indigenous Research Unit at Griffith University, Australia, and is a member of the Board and Indigenous Advisory Panel for the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.

Christos Carras studied philosophy at Cambridge and the Sorbonne. He is the executive director of the Onassis Stegi (Athens) and an independent researcher focusing on contemporary sonic art, digital technologies in cultural production, the role of art within broader networks and fields, and the politics of cultural production and consumption.

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is an artist, media practitioner, researcher, and writer, holding a PhD in sound studies from Leiden University, and an MA in New Media from Aarhus University. He is the author of three books, The Nomadic Listener (2020), The Auditory Setting (2021), and Between the Headphones (2021). https://budhaditya.org/

Rosemary (Rosa) Kostic Cisneros is a researcher, dancer, choreographer and curator who works closely with the RomArchive and many NGOs. She is leading various EU-funded projects which aim to make education accessible to vulnerable groups and ethnic minorities, and coordinating cultural heritage projects that bring dance and digital technologies together.

Maureen Flint is Assistant Professor in Qualitative Research at the University of Georgia. Maureen’s research centers the theory, practice, and pedagogy of qualitative methodologies, artful inquiries, and questions of social (in)justice in higher education. She graduated with a PhD in Educational Research from the University of Alabama in 2019.

Jill Halstead is a feminist researcher and composer. Her publications center on the body politics of musical creativity and participation. She is Professor at the Grieg Academy, University of Bergen and leader of the Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies, a regional consortium of five universities located on the west coast of Norway.

Maggie Inchley is a Senior Lecturer in Drama at Queen Mary University of London. She researches cultural audibility and the intersectional and aesthetic aspects of vocal performance. Inchley is Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded practice-based research project, The Verbatim Formula (TVF), which explores systems of education and care with care-experienced young people: http://www.theverbatimformula.org.uk.

Vadim Keylin is a sound art scholar and poet. He holds a PhD from Aarhus University and is currently a postdoc at the University of Hamburg, working on research into sound poetry in digital culture. He has previously published articles on experimental musical instruments, sound sculptures and participatory sound art.

Tanyss Knowles holds a Master of Social Work from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Simon Fraser University. She is a board member of The Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice (VARJ). Tanyss is passionate about community-building projects that meet local needs and promote community strengths.

Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice, and questions of agency. He is editor of Errant Bodies Press, Berlin, and Professor at the Department of Contemporary Art, University of Bergen. He develops and presents artistic projects within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. He is the author of Acoustic Justice (2021), The Other Citizen (2020), Sonic Agency (2018), among others.

Eric Lewis is professor of Philosophy at McGill University. He is the founder and president of AIM (Arts in the Margins), and LUC (Laboratory of Urban Culture). He is an active sound artist and improvisor and organises the annual Koumaria new media art residency program in association with Medea Electronique.

Katie MacEntee’s research focuses on the use of participatory visual methodologies to address HIV and AIDS, gender-based violence, homelessness amongst 2SLGBTQ+ youth, and for the study of transactional sex, sexual and reproductive health and education access. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.

Niamh Malone, Associate Professor of Drama at Liverpool Hope University, publishes on her applied theatre practice in prisons and on working with people living with dementia. Most recent publication ‘Beyond Judgement: Arts intervention in dementia care’ in Art Disarming Philosophy: Non-Philosophy and Aesthetics (Rowman and Littlefield), edited together with Gary Anderson.

Dont Rhine co-founded the international sound art collective Ultra-red in 1994. Based in Los Angeles, Dont has collaborated with Clean Needles Now (now named L.A. Community Health Project) since 1992. He is an organiser with the Los Angeles Tenants Union and a part-time instructor at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Vicki Saunders (Gunggari) is a public health researcher who uses arts-led and poetic enquiry in the fields of child protection and family wellbeing. She is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity at Central Queensland University, Australia.

Morgan Shiver is a graduate student in English at Kansas State University. Her studies focus on children's literature and media. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama in 2018.

Frank Tester is Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Adjunct Professor of Native Studies, University of Manitoba, and the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute, Nelson, British Columbia. He is the president of VARJ. Frank is a recipient of the Gustavus Myers Award for the study of human rights in North America.

Wolfgang Vachon has been creating, playing, and supporting children & youth through theatre and other arts practices for three decades. His work has primarily been with people who are street involved, homeless, 2SLGBTQ+, survivors of trauma, and those living in state care. Wolfgang teaches Child and Youth Care at Humber College in Toronto.  

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. For 12 years, he was the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program. Syrus is also a core-team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto and Assistant Professor at McMaster University’s School of the Arts.

Ryanne Whyte graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications and Film and African American Studies from the University of Alabama in 2019. She now lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia as a film/TV production assistant.

Sarah Woodland is a researcher, practitioner, and educator in applied theatre and participatory arts, with a particular focus on engaging with communities and groups from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, and those with experience of the criminal justice system. She is Dean’s Research Fellow at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Nimalan Yoganathan is a PhD student in Communication Studies at Concordia University (Tiohtià:ke / Montreal). His research interests include soundscape studies, as well as decolonial and intersectional modes of environmental listening. Nimalan is also a sound artist who has conducted soundscape research in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and the Inuit community of Inukjuak, Nunavik.

Toby Young is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and previously Gianturco Junior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. As a composer and producer, Toby has collaborated with artists including the Rolling Stones, Duran Duran, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

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Editor(s)

Biography

Sarah Woodland is a researcher, practitioner, and educator in applied theatre and participatory arts, with a particular focus on engaging with communities and groups from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, and those with experience of the criminal justice system. She is Dean’s Research Fellow at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Wolfgang Vachon has been creating with and supporting children & youth through theatre and other arts practices for three decades. His work has primarily been with people who are street involved, homeless, 2SLGBTQ+, survivors of trauma, and those living in state care. Wolfgang teaches Child and Youth Care at Humber College in Toronto.