Ephemeral Sustainability. A conference on Sound Art

October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

A conference in Norway, on – what else? – sound art, is the first big, public event of the new, the second, two year round of RESONANCE activities. Organized by Lydgalleriet in Bergen (one of RESONANCE’s current co-organizers), the event goes by the name of Ephemeral Sustainability. As the buzz words that make up its title indicate, the Bergen conference invites and intends to thoroughly reflect on the presentation and documentation, the collecting and archiving of the fast growing corpus of sound based contemporary art.

“Is it only through documentation and human witness reports that this sound based, and hence fundamentally ephemeral, form of contemporary art can be appreciated in hindsight, or are there other strategies to strengthen its bonds to the past?,” the organizers ask. “Is this field of art in its nature and ideology impossible to transport, collect and re-act, or does it have a potential in more traditional art collections and museums? Do we need a new practice and new venues to collect and present it, or can this be done within the frames of already existing structures and organisations?”

On the first three days of November, a large group of ‘conveyers, artists, curators and thinkers within the field’ will gather in Bergen to look at these questions from many different angles. Together the contributors make for an impressive list indeed, too long to be clearly readable on the image above, which is a reduced version of the announcement of the Ephemeral Sustainability event in the current issue of The Wire.

Among the invited speakers we find David Toop, Edwin van der Heide, Gruenrekorder, Christina Kubisch, Origami Boe, Carsten Seifarth, Seth Cluett, Helga de la Motte-Haber, RESONANCE artists Aernoudt Jacobs, Signe Lidén, Maia Urstad, and many, many more.

The conference program for Thursday November 1st includes a performance/lecture by Seth Kim-Cohen, the author of In the Blink of an Ear: Toward a Non-Cochlear Sonic Art This contribution to ‘Ephemeral Sustainability’ bears the title “Knifey Through My Buttery Silence” and if the following short video of a recent performance of Seth’s at the Diapason Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, is anything to go by, we might be in for a fun surprise.

It will not be the only one…

Ephemeral Sustainability. A conference about presenting, documenting, collecting and archiving sound based contemporary art. Bergen, Norway. November 1st-3rd, 2012. Click here for the detailed program.


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