Since its inception, public sound art and social space have been closely linked having the city as scenery and laboratory. In the 60’s, Public Sound Art appeared from the hand of artists and musicians as an outcome of formal discussions on the role of art in life. Furthermore, some of these artists, acting in response to political and social matters, used sound as a tool to build situations in public space and in the social context. The audience was considered then - beyond the art realm as individual citizens and so acquiring a main position in the process of recognition and processing as well as in the response and critic of these practices in the different contexts. Half century later, some of these premises continue to be valid but also other remarkable examples have appeared introducing new elements into the field.

The seminar to be held in the Arkitekturmuseet, is public-access.

The seminar is organized as a group of presentations and a conversation among the different speakers. The panel will be composed of different curators and artists working in this field. BARBARA LONDON (US), curator of the exhibition ‘Soundings’ in MOMA museum, RAMÓN PARRAMÓN (SP), director of the public art project Idensitat and SAM AUINGER (DK) artist and theoretician in public sound art.  

Panel 1
Soundings. A contemporary score
Curating sound and media art. 
Lecture by Barbara London.
Date: September 3rd, 2013
Time: 4 pm 

In August 2013, the exhibition “Soundings. A contemporary score” have opened in MOMA museum curated by Barbara London. 16 artists sharing sound as a material participate in this exhibition where the sonorous as much as the visual are part of the exhibition. Focused on the strength of sound, its materiality and its conceptualization, the exhibition deepen as well in the strong visual component of some of the pieces and the social connotations of some of them. The previous research and the analysis for this exhibition will be the point of departure in the lecture by Barbara London which will address additionally other projects in her pioneering work in media and sound art since the 70s.

Panel 2
Sound art, Social space and the politics of listening in the city.
Date: September 3rd, 2013
Time: 5.30 pm

Participants: Ramón Parramón, Sam Auinger and Barbara London 
Chair: María Andueza

Public sound art has several strengths when it takes place in city environments. Its immediate connection to the social space can alter, disrupt or compact an urban context. A single work may have an impact on the knowledge of a situation or of a group or community that inhabits a particular space. Public Sound Art conceive the audience as citizens that are immersed in their everyday life, in this regard, the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre, in his essay The Production of the Space, theorized about the social space of a city in relationship to the urban planning and the role of the citizens in the public space. Lefebvre additionally pointed the importance of temporality in the production of social space and mentioned some ideas very suggestive for a reading from Sound Art field. Lefebvre's ideas on social space were echoed later in the work of Edward Soja, who referred to the concept of 'spatiality' and 'third space' in relation to the urban and social space. All these notions are important when facing sound creation in public spaces. No only the temporalization but also the network of social relationships in the spaces are configured as essential elements in many works.

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