Uncurating Sound Book Launch
At London College of Communication (Directions)
14 March 2023, 18.00 – 21:00
To celebrate the publication of Uncurating Sound: Knowledge with Voice and Hands, Bloomsbury, NY, 2023, by Salomé Voegelin, we are pleased to welcome Lina Džuverović, Richard Hylton and Cécile Malaspina, who will each respond to the book through a short intervention and then enter into conversation with each other and the author, to speculate together on the institutional and socio-political consequences that might arise from the possibility of a sonic (sensory) knowledge enabled by uncurating.
Uncurating Sound will be available to buy on the night from IKLECTIK Sound & Bookshop, during a drinks reception that will follow the talks.
Uncurating Sound performs, across five chapters, a deliberation between art, politics, knowledge and normativity. It foregrounds the perfidy of norms and engages in the curatorial as a colonial knowledge project, whose economy of exploitation draws a straight line from Enlightenment’s desire for objectivity, through sugar, cotton and tobacco, via lives lost and money made to the violence of contemporary art.
It takes from curation the notion of care and thinks it through purposeful inefficiency as resistance: going sideways and another way. Thus it moves curation through the double negative of not not to “uncuration”: untethering knowledge from the expectations of reference and a canonical frame, and reconsidering art as political not in its message or aim, but by the way it confronts the institution.
Looking at Kara Walker’s work, the book invites the performance of the curatorial via indivisible connections and processes. Reading Kathy Acker and Adrian Piper it speculates on how the body brings us to knowledge beyond the ordinary. Playing Kate Carr and Ellen Fullman it re-examines Modernism’s colonial ideology, and materialises the vibrational presence of a plural sense. Listening to Marguerite Humeau and Manon de Boer it avoids theory but agitates a direct knowing from voice and hands, and feet and ears that disorder hegemonic knowledge strands in favour of local, tacit, feminist and contingent knowledges that demand like Zanele Muholi’s photographs, an ethical engagement with the work/world.
Salomé Voegelin is a Professor of Sound at London College of Communication, member of CRiSAP, and an artist and writer engaged in listening as a socio-political practice of sound. She is the author of Listening to Noise and Silence (2010), Sonic Possible Worlds (2014) and The Political Possibility of Sound (2018), all by Bloomsbury Academic. Her work and writing deal with sound and the world sound makes: its aesthetic, social and political realities that are hidden by the persuasiveness of a visual point of view.
Lina Džuverović is a Lecturer at the Film, Media and Cultural Studies Department, Birkbeck College, University of London, where she also co-directs BIRMAC-Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture. Her research focuses on collectivity, cultural labour and the sphere of contemporary art as a site of solidarity and community-building. Previously Lina was Artistic Director of London’s Calvert 22 Foundation, founding Director of Electra contemporary arts agency, Media Arts Curator at ICA, and has taught at University of Reading and Institute for Contemporary Art, TU Graz, Austria.
Richard Hylton is curator, writer and artist. Since the early 1990s, he has organized a significant number of exhibitions and edited publications involving a wide range of practitioners. His writing has been published in a variety of journals and publications in the UK and US. He is Lecturer in Contemporary Art at SOAS, London and is currently writing a study on the work of British artist Donald Rodney (1961-1998).
Cécile Malaspina is a program director for the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris, as well as for the Art & Curatorial Practice program at New Centre for Research and Practice. She is visiting research fellow at the King’s College London and at University of the West of England. She is the author of An Epistemology of Noise (Bloomsbury, 2018) and the principal translator of Gilbert Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects.
Register to attend the book launch
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This event will be held in Lecture Theatre B with a drinks reception in the Typo Cafe, both locations have step-free ramped access. An accessible gender-neutral toilet is located in the cafe. Images displayed during the event will be verbally described.
Filming and Photography Notice
Please note that filming and photography may be taking place throughout the event. Both bigger crowds, smaller groups and individuals may be captured on camera. All imagery and footage may at some point be published on the College’s websites and social media channels.