Dirty Ear Forum - third edition

Ricarda Denzer (Vienna)
Brandon LaBelle (Bergen)
Ana País (Lisbon)
Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec (Bergen)
Alexandre St-Onge (Montréal)
James Webb (Cape Town)

Lab: March 5th - 13th, 2014 / Exhibiton opening: March 13th, 2014

Dirty Ear Forum is an intensive lab between six participating artists-researchers focusing on the topics of sound art and sonic research. Through a dynamic collaborative structure, the Forum aims to query and explore in what ways sound art may operate as a creative platform for developing new forms of collective work. Through the project, questions of co-operation, listening, hospitality, disruption, presence and auditory knowledge are considered, leading to deep dialogue and material experimentation, and resulting in the making of a final installation work.

Sound can be appreciated as a material that evades our ability to physically hold onto it; it moves through an environment and often passes over boundaries to bring into contact different spaces; and in addition, the invisibility of sound contributes to its rather elusive nature, challenging our capacity to describe or define it. These complex qualities of sound are central to sound art as a practice and often lead to works that appear in public space, and in marginal locations, that are extremely unfixed and mobile, and that also seek out a diversity of publics. The Forum poses sound as a phenomenon that "collaborates" with its environment, and with the listener, making it more a collective event than a private one. In this way, sound can be investigated as an extremely dynamic medium for artistic work, one that may specifically offer opportunities for creating unexpected forms of social, relational and collaborative practice.

If sound art is an "art of listening", in what ways do particular sounds locate us as listeners? How might sound art challenge or unsettle the prevailing dominance of "ocular knowledge" within the arts? And is it possible to develop sound as a means for promoting new theories of the senses, or as a base for multiplying possibilities of dialogic exchange and inclusion?

The intensive lab resulted in an exhibition presented at Rom8, Bergen, March 13th - 16th, 2014. The exhibition materialized the various strands of experimentation developed during the lab, and sought to utilize the space as an active element: spatial displacements, amplifications, and mappings functioned to elaborate a sonic experience that could also unsettle notions of the object.

we looked outside, onto the street, then behind walls, and further, upstairs, down the corridors, bringing them into contact. (test recording)