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Seminar "Sound and the Public"

Cultural Transformations summer seminar. Please register by sending an email to vkeylin@cc.au.dk before August 22.

Info about event


Tuesday 27 August 2019,  at 10:00 - 17:00


10.15 – 10.30: Morning coffee and welcome


10.30 – 12.00: Session 1: Sound Design

• Assistant Professor Marie Koldkjær Højlund (AU): An Attuning Approach to Sound art and Design in Public Spaces

• Professor Holger Schulze (Copenhagen University): A Sensology of Surveillance: Sound Design between the Silencing Dispositive and a Panacoustic Society


12.00 – 13.00: Lunch


13.00 – 15.15: Session 2: Sound Topographies

• Associate Professor Anette Vandsø (AU): Climate Changed Public

• Professor Kate Lacey (Sussex University): Sound and the Public Sphere: Media and Metaphor

• Associate Professor Sanne Krogh Groth (Lund University): Situating Sound Art in the Global South


15.15 – 15.30: Break


15.30 – 17.00: Session 3: Sound Art and Participation

• Professor Pedro Rebelo (Queen’s University Belfast): Participatory Sonic Arts: Learning from Practice

• PhD student Vadim Keylin (AU): Co-creative Perspectives in Participatory Sound Art


Please register by sending an email to vkeylin@cc.au.dk before August 22



Sound “is intrinsically and unignorably relational: it emanates, propagates, communicates, vibrates, and agitates; it leaves a body and enters others; it binds and unhinges…”, as Brandon LaBelle notes in the opening paragraph of his book Background Noise. It is little wonder then that the relationship of sound and the public - conceptualized as the public space, or the public sphere of the media, or the publics of sound art - has long been one of the central subjects in sound studies. The idea of sound as an inherently open, relational and communal finds a parallel in the understanding of the public as an unrestricted site of social interactions. Yet both parts of this equation have been problematized in recent scholarship, revealing ambiguity and multifacetedness of sound’s role in the public sphere. The public listens - to each other, to the public media, to the environment around them - or does not, when headphones protect it from the sonic world outside. But public is also listened to by a variety of acoustic surveillance devices. The public makes sound - as the creators of the everyday soundscape or as the protestors disrupting it to make their voices heard. But it is also molded by the sound, through its listening habits and media of choice or mood control systems such as Muzak. Thus, with this seminar, we want to revisit - and re-evaluate - the relationship of sound and the public from a variety of (inter)disciplinary perspectives, ranging from anthropology, to media studies, to aesthetics and design.