At the ICA

Critical Waves at the ICA, Thursday 26th March 2015

This conference aimed to inspire researchers to consider strategies for presenting research creatively. Two panels of artists and academics discussed how they use the voice as a creative material in their work, touching on: how the voice can enhance or disrupt content; the politics of the voice and authorship; and what it might mean to speak with someone else’s voice.

Catch up on the Critical Waves conference at the ICA by listening to the presentations from our speakers: Sam Belinfante, Lance Dann, Iris Garrelfs, Magz Hall, Marc Herbst and Aura Satz.

Schedule for Critical Waves at the ICA

10.45am – 11am         Registration

11am – 1pm                Session 1, ‘Radio Play: Voice as Material’

This session is aimed at showcasing how the voice can be used as a creative material. Voices can be edited, manipulated, cut up, overlaid or juxtaposed. What they express is inflected by pauses, stutters, pitch and volume. How do different methods of working with voices enhance or disrupt the content that they communicate? How can technology shape voices and affect their messages? Presentations from: Sam Belinfante, artist and curator; Iris Garrelfs, artist; Magz Hall, artist and senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University. Followed by a panel discussion and questions from the floor.

2 – 4pm                       Session 2, ‘Disembodied Voices: Speaking and Authorship’

This session considers authorship in relation to the disembodied voices that we encounter through radio. What are the ethics of speaking with someone else’s voice or representing the voices of others, which are encountered when using ‘found’ audio material and interviews? How are meaning and authority affected by fictional as opposed to documentary voices? What does it mean to have a voice without a body? And does a sense of invisibility alter what we’re prepared to say? Presentations from: Lance Dann, Commissioning Editor for Resonance FM; Marc Herbst, artist and co-editor of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest; Aura Satz, artist. Followed by a panel discussion and questions from the floor.

Speakers’ bios

Sam Belinfante is an artist living and working in London. Along with filmmaking and photographic work, his practice includes curating, sound and performance. Recent exhibitions include the solo show Many Chambers, Many Mouths at Southard Reid, London (2013) and The Reversing Machine, with Simon Lewandowski at The Tetley, Leeds (2014). He curated and participated in The Voice and The Lens, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, which will tour to Whitechapel Gallery as part of Spitalfields Festival in June 2014. Recent performances include Corpus Sonus at V22, London and Turner Contemporary, Margate; The Blue Bird at Barbican, London, all 2012 with Musarc Choir; and Stimmung as part of Restless Times, Tate Britain, in 2011. In 2014 Belinfante was selected to curate the Hayward Touring Curatorial Open. His international group show Listening is currently touring the UK.

Lance Dann is the founder of Radio Art group Noiseless Blackboard Eraser (1994–2007) and former Associate Member of The Wooster Group. He studied Radio at Goldsmiths’ College and produced a number of experimental radio programmes for Festival Radio Productions’ Brighton based RSL radio stations during the early 1990s. As a radio artist he has worked extensively with composer Rohan Kriwaczek on a series of works for BBC Radio 3BBC Radio 4 and independent stations internationally. Their collaborations included a long-running series of live radio performances and a trilogy of experimental plays for radio (“If on a Summer Night a Listener…”, “Ho! Ho! The Clown is Dead” and “Glowboys”). Between 1996 and 2000 he worked with The Wooster Group as producer of a sequence of plays for BBC Radio 3 (“The Emperor Jones“, “Phèdre” and “The Peggy Carstairs Report”). He worked as sound designer for the company during the development of “To You the Birdie” and through performances of “House/Lights”. In 1999 he recorded two documentaries with Yoko Ono for BBC Radio 3, the first time she’d spoken at length to the British media for over 20 years. In 2001 he wrote a serialisation of John Wyndham‘s “The Day of the Triffids” for the BBC WorldService. His work in radio and theatre has earned a number of awards including two Sony Radio Academy Awards and a Prix Marulić. In recent years he has been writing for BBC Radio, carrying out doctoral research in the development of radio drama commissioning at the BBC on behalf of the Society of Authors and writing and producing the audio drama series The Flickerman.

Iris Garrelfs is a sound artist interested in modes of listening as a way of connecting to the world, exploring interrelatedness, patterns and interaction through performances, mixed media projects, and recordings. In performance she often uses her voice as raw material for conjuring multilayered listening experiences where voice is transmuted into machine noises, intricate rhythms, choral works, pulverised “into granules of electroacoustic babble and glitch, generating animated dialogues between innate human expressiveness and the overt artifice of digital processing” as the Wire Magzine put it. Artworks and performances have featured at Tate Britain, Science Museum, International Computer Music Conference, GSK Contemporary at the Royal Academy Of Arts and Rencontres Internationales (Paris, Berlin, Madrid).mElsewhere, Iris is one of the founding directors and curators of Sprawl, advocating experimental sound through live events and recordings. She is currently a lecturer and AHRC PhD research fellow at London College of Communication (University of the Arts London) and Commissioning Editor of Reflections on Process in Sound.

Magz Hall is a sound and radio artist, and a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University. She help set up London’s arts station Resonance FM and now runs Radio Arts who have been promoting radio art and have commissioned new radio works supported by ACE and KCC, she also founded the Expanded Radio Research Group at CCCU. She has been exploring the artistic potential of radio and its use outside of conventional settings and produced a series installations, broadcasts and actions  which consider alternative futures for the FM as an overarching theme for her practice based PhD at CRISAP, University of the Arts London entitled: Radio After Radio: Redefining Radio Art in the Light of New Media Technology through Expanded Practice.  Her radio  work has been broadcast internationally and sound work has been exhibited in the British Museum, the Sainsbury Centre, MACBA Barcelona, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Norway, Morocco, Canada and the USA. Her ambisonic soundtrack of Hong Kong Airport at the British Museum was described as “extraordinary and rich”  in R J Williams The Anxious City (2004). Her “intriguing and beautiful work” Radio Mind  was commissioned by the Lightworks Festival (2012). Her latest work Spiritual Radio was commissioned as a transmitting book for Unbinding the Book touring exhibition (London and USA). “pages of the book are held shut by copper nails, connected to form a transmitter circuit through which words flow “in an eternal loop….the text awaits the listener who is tuned to the right frequency” (2014,The Guardian).

Marc Herbst is a co-editor of the the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest (Joaap), a journal and art collective founded in 2001 in Los Angeles California. Joaap is described at times either as “a weirdo think-tank” or a “journal that meets at the intersection of fine art, media theory and the globalisation movement. Joaap has just released its 9th printed journal issue and is currently collaborating with Murmurae and the Squatting In Europe Collective (SqEK)on two seperate publications. Herbst is an artist, writer and organizer who used to trust in the criminal element in his garden but now has no garden and is interested in listening at the space between senses and words, between finding a shelter and playing cards. He enjoys drawing comic books and doing performance workshops. With the Journal or alone, he has taught, presented work and/or lectured at the Universities of California, Yale University, Malmö Kunstacademie, the New Museum (New York), KPFK radio, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, The Field, Electrodomestica, Medionauta, and elsewhere.

Aura Satz studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. She has performed, exhibited and screened her work nationally and internationally, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Hayward Gallery, Barbican Art Gallery, ICA, the Wellcome Collection, BFI Southbank, Whitechapel Gallery, (London); Oberhausen Short Film Festival (Oberhausen); the Rotterdam Film Festival (Rotterdam); the New York Film Festival (NY); Gallery 44 (Toronto); Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne); De Appel Art Centre (Amsterdam); and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead). Recent group shows include ‘Mirrorcity’ at The Hayward Gallery, ‘They Used to Call it the Moon’ at Baltic (Newcastle), and ‘Eyelids Leaking Light’, a solo show at George Eastman House (Rochester NY).


One thought on “At the ICA

  1. Pingback: ICA talk for Critical Waves | magz hall

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