HOW TO DO THINGS WITH SOUND?


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Sonic fictions are everywhere: in conversations about vernacular culture, in music videos, sound art compositions, and on record sleeves; in everyday encounters with sonic experiences and in every single piece of writing about sound. Where one can find sounds one will also detect bits of fiction.

A still from Ayesha Hameed’s video “In the Shadows of our Ghosts” (2018) combined with a sequence from the video “Encounters of the Third Type” (1989) by the soviet collective The New Composers.

In 1998 music critic, DJ and video essayist Kodwo Eshun proposed this concept in his book “More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction”. Since that year I wanted to explore all the ramifications and repercussions of Eshun’s work. In 2020 Bloomsbury Academic published my little introduction, “Sonic Fiction“, to the wide variety of activist, political, epistemological, decolonial, social, and aesthetic interpretations and applications of sonic fiction in the last two decades.

For our evening on “HOW TO DO THINGS WITH SOUND?” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin on March 3rd, we invited three artists, curators, and scholars who will take you on a journey into some of the more unexpected sonic fictions of this or the last century:

Artist and scholar Ayesha Hameed discusses with me the activism and heuristics inherent to sonic fictions, with a special focus on her artistic practice and his thought figures. Curator and scholar Giada Dalla Bontà brings to the table the sonic fictions within underground sound art of the late Soviet Union. Marcela Lucatelli, composer and performer, presents to us sonic fictions as part of a new performance and composition. And scholar and artist Pedro Oliviera will safely guide us through this variety of thoughts and creations.

In this podcast, produced by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Giada Dalla Bontà and trace selected developmental lines of sonic fiction: in the final years of the Soviet Union, how did the subculture win over conceptual and real freedoms? Did a trail lead from occupied houses in Moscow and St. Petersburg to the Afrofuturism of Sun Ra and Missy Elliott? We follow the mythical language around the term coined by Kodwo Eshun and explore the potential of sounds and their narratives as a liberating force.

Join us, on Thursday, March 3rd, 2022, 8pm at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin for an evening on sonic fiction in the arts and in activism!

Tickets can be purchased right here.