[ 8. März 2011 ]

CALL – A Sonic Geography: Rethinking Auditory Spatial Practice. For: Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture

Call for Papers: A Sonic Geography: Rethinking Auditory Spatial Practice

There now exists a significant body of work exploring the confluence of spatial and sonic practices, with recent literature acknowledging the role of sound in the ongoing production, regulation and conceptual representation of space. Aural architecture, soundscaping and sonic sculpture abound, as do accounts of sonic strategies for the delineation of territory, the performance of identity, and the management of difference within physical, and more recently, mobile, virtual, and networked spaces.

Events in the mainstream art world that took place in 2010, such as the inclusion of John Wynne’s untitled sound sculpture for 300 speakers, Pianola, and vacuum cleaner in the Newspeak: British Art Now exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, and Susan Philipsz‘ reception of the Turner prize for her public sonic intervention ‚Lowlands‘, demonstrate that this field of sound-based, spatially distributed practice has reached a level of maturity that resonates with a larger public, and is embraced on an institutional level that facilitates future production. Significant publications in the past decade including The Soundscape of Modernity by Emily Thompson, Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture by Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter, Sound Moves: iPod Culture and Urban Experience by Michael Bull, Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life by Brandon Labelle, and Listening to Noise and Silence: toward a Philosophy of Sound Art by Salomé Voegelin, cement a theoretical evolution which supports these practice-based experiments, while the English translation of Sonic Experience: A Guide To Everyday Sounds in 2006 marks the dissemination of one of the most thoroughly actualized research programs (CRESSON: The Centre for Research on Sonic Space and the Urban Environment, in Grenoble, France) that has sought to explore sound in various spatial contexts since the early 1980s.

This sustained interest in auditory spatial practice might be interpreted as resulting from a more general epistemological shift away from the neutral, physically bounded spaces of Cartesian geography towards a relational framework that treats ‘space’ as the ongoing performance of people, objects, codes, and practices. A spatial epistemology that tends towards the fluid, the contingent, and the socially produced, facilitates discussions of sonic practices as inherently spatial. As nascent fields such as sensory urbanism , acoustic ecology and aural architecture explore the application of these theories to more sustained practical experimentation and support structures, the feedback loop formed between discussion, design, and production generates new possibilities for auditory spatial awareness.

The second issue of Interference, therefore, not only invites papers that further explore the role of audio cultures in the production of space, but attempts to reflect on the role of auditory spatial awareness as a critical tool for theoretical and creative practices. We also wish to solicit work that reflects on this body of theory: the languages, cultures and criteria that continue to shape auditory spatial practices.

Proposals for this issue of Interference might address, but not exclusively, some of the following issues and points of discussion:

• The role of the creative practitioner in auditory spatial awareness, through the production of counter factual geographies and fictionalised spaces, foregrounding the sonic identity of space, or otherwise exploring, augmenting or transforming the soundscape.
• A taxonomy for auditory spatial practices: where visual terminologies abound in spatial analysis we invite submissions that develop an appropriate language for auditory space. How might a sonorous language, with its emphasis on rhythm, movement, repetition and fluidity of forms, aid contemporary spatial discourses?
• Reviews of the literature on auditory space, or on spatially informed cultural practice
• Exploring correspondences/disjuncture between the theoretical frameworks of spatial theory and recent practices such as sensorial geography and aural architecture
• The role of audio culture in diffuse perspectives of historical spaces, inviting counter-histories and counter-geographies from antiquity right up to the development of cyberspace
• Broadcasting boundaries: the role of sonic broadcasts in geographic conflict: territorial dispute, the performance of national, local and cultural identities and the role of broadcast in public and privatised spaces
• The role of sound and listening as mapping techniques, with and against established cartography, recent mapping technologies, and locative media
• Relations between sensorial epistemologies: visual, sonic, haptic, peripatetic etc.
• Auditory spatial practices as a point of engagement with contemporary spaces: mobile worlds, virtual environments and networked platforms
• The role of media technologies in the production of acoustic spaces: radio, amplification, recording technologies and portable audio devices
• Explorations of different scales within sonic space: from sculptural interventions to large acoustic communities
• An exploration of the relationship between sounds and their geographical sources: local sonic identities, or similarly, dislocated sounds: the production of acousmatic and imaginary auditory spaces in acoustic practice.

Interference balances its content between academic and practice based research and therefore accepts proposals for both academic papers and accounts of practice based research.

Deadline for Abstracts: May 15th 2011 to editor@interferencejournal.com

Deadline for Full Paper Submissions: August 20th 2011

For more information, and submission guidelines please see:
or contact