Presentation in Budapest on Organizing & Listening Beyond

Reflections & Documentation from 2023 Beyond Listening Symposium on Art, Agency, and the Environment

The Beyond Listening symposium on art, agency, and the environment was a wonderful and moving opportunity to connect with well-known sound scholars, artists in Europe, South America and India. Thanks to the SAIC Dean of Faculty’s travel support, I enjoyed reconnecting with Sam Auinger, Peter Cusack, Jacek Smolicki, Robin Parmar, Miloš Vojtěchovský, Csaba Hajnowy, Liz Miller, and many others. I finally met artists and researchers whom I’ve followed for many years, Hannah Kemp-Welch, Gascia Ouzounian, and Budhaditya Chattopadhyay. Plus, my new friends Kristine Diekman, Ben Pagac, and Mary Edwards from the Listening Pasts – Listening Futures conference last March, at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA).

I came to the beautiful city of Budapest to share my organizing experiences, upon the 30th anniversary of the founding of the WFAE, with the organizers of Central European Network for Sonic Ecologies (CENSE), and this symposium.

On the closing day, November 25, I delivered my “Summary of 2023 WFAE Conference at Atlantic Center for the Arts.” I’m sharing the presentation slides and link to the 30-minute talk on the updated Beyond Listening site.

You may watch for more recordings from the conference to be posted on Vimeo soon, hopefully.

The summary segued into the closing round table discussion on the future of the CENSE. Beginning with a long moment of silence, we openly verbalized our concerns and hopes. So many challenges are the same as faced 30 years ago. What has changed is the speed of technological change—neither a benefit nor a loss perhaps—while the dire conditions of climate heating and genocidal wars in Ukraine, Sudan, Gaza, and elsewhere around the globe proliferate, outpacing human ingenuity and political capacities for action. I think the roundtable raised similarly difficult questions as we have been asking over the past 30 years ago or longer. One difference may be that our planet’s total ecological collapse is more imminent, with the legacies of imperialism and colonialism presenting in much starker relief.

The symposium offered me an audience for a new creative soundwork made at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. On November 22, for the opening reception I was honored to premiere, “Auditory Respiration.” Although it felt very unfinished when I arrived, my new 8-channel work, played as a stereo reduction, was very well received.

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