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17 Nov 2021 | Chris Salter | Sound in Artistic Research

source: Chris Salter

Lecture: Alien Agencies – Capturing Resonance from the Insider Perspective

One of the key concepts in the notion of artistic research is the term research itself, which for all intents and purposes signifies the creation of new knowledge about some aspect of the world. Yet, research has some strong assumptions behind it – namely, that there is a distance to be established between the research object and the researcher themselves. This poses a rather complex problem for the artistic since the entire point of artistic practice is to intervene in the world, not to observe it at a critical distance. This gets even more complicated when it comes to the phenomena of sound – how to capture it as a research object at a distance when, in fact, with sound there is no distance and there is no object. This talk bases itself on a chapter from my 2015 MIT Press book Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making which focuses on the work of sound artists O+A (Bruce Odland and former Sound Studies Guest Professor, Sam Auinger). The book asks what happens in creative practice when the materials of art and research behave and perform in ways beyond a creators' intentions. To make the problem stickier and more intriguing, how does an artist themself (in this case, the author Chris Salter) understand the practices of other artists at both a distance and close up in order to investigate how new sonic events can come into the world and how they shape both knowing and experiencing that world in a new way. 


Moderator: Daisuke Ishida

Chris Salter

Chris Salter is an artist, Professor for Design + Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and Co-Director of the Hexagram network. He studied philosophy, economics, theatre and computer music at Emory and Stanford Universities. His artistic work has been seen all over the world at such venues as the Venice Architecture Biennale, Barbican Centre, Berliner Festspiele, Wiener Festwochen, ZKM, Musée d’art Contemporain, EXIT Festival and Place des Arts-Montreal, among many others. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press, 2010) and Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (MIT Press 2015). His new book Sensing Machines will be published by MIT Press in 2022.

Sound in Artistic Research

In the winter semester 2021/22, Sound Studies and Sonic Arts presents a lecture series exploring sound in artistic research. The genome of the master program implies an understanding that theory and practice mutually inform each other and represent two sides of the same coin. We’d like to invite you to join this lecture series and explore the different perspectives on the topic of artistic research as an encouragement to reflect on your own positioning.

Artistic research, aesthetic research, and practice-based research have gained a lot of momentum at art schools and universities in the past few decades. Focusing on alternatives to established methodologies and paradigms based on evidence, historical and political analysis, musicology, critical thinking, and cultural studies, this lecture series addresses how artistic research has been established in sound studies and in the sonic arts.


Primarily for the current MA Sound Studies and Sonic Arts students at the UdK, these talks are also open to the general public and students from all other institutions and departments.

Wedensdays | 18:00 – 20:00 p.m. | online

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