Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sound Fields: Mapping Acoustic Territories

WHAT: Sound Fields: Mapping Acoustic Territories 
WHERE: Brooklyn, USA
DEADLINE: September 1, 2010
WHEN:  September 23-25, 2010
WHO: Artists working with sound and/or architecture

Open call to entries for artists working with sound and/or architecture. The show will run Thursday September 23rd through Saturday the 25th and will consist of 10-15 artists that will submit work that will be installed in a 8,000 square foot venue in Gowans, Brooklyn. Below is the curatorial description and any interested artists should send email inquiries to

Sound Fields: Mapping Acoustic Territories
In public places one wanders in a field of sounds that are ambient and discrete, loud and soft, which form intermittent relationships with one another. This acoustic mise en scene is often deemed distracting or cacophonous, leading to attempts to marginalize sound that is judged to be noise. Think of the subway, the library, or the church. Certain sounds are considered desirable while others are not. Noise is seen as a nuisance, and the decision to exclude it is made by those with the privilege to make aesthetic judgments for others. However, sound escapes attempts at isolation and infiltrates space, shifting meaning dependent upon its position amongst other sounds. The fluid nature of sound evades all but the most extreme measures to confine it; spilling over into spaces both public and private.

The acoustic properties of the urban environment have a powerful psychological impact. While the auditory system attempts to localize what is heard, the colliding waves of urban sound overwhelm attentiveness toward any single source. When sounds share spatial or temporal proximity, their meanings change. If the sounds appear in a chronological sequence, the initial one often becomes a reference for the meaning of the others. Another way that sounds interact and change their meaning is dependent upon the path they travel. Two different types of sound encountered by a listener can determine the distance of sources and inform their visual counterparts: direct sound, which arrives at the listener’s ears without being reflected off a surface, and reflected sound, which has been redirected before arriving at the listener.

The inability to truly isolate any one sound source is at the core of Sound Fields: Mapping Acoustic Territories. Critical awareness of sound in relation to where it is heard and the boundaries it occupies becomes a powerful tool for perception and the production of meaning. The exhibition will act as a field, through which the participants can forge their own path through shifting landscapes of sound-space.

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