[Event] Soundwave ((5)) Humanities

San Francisco
5th July 2012 – 30 September 2012

 

Soundwave 5 poster

“MEDIATE Art Group is excited to announce the return of Soundwave this summer for its fifth season, entitled HUMANITIES, exploring our sonic connections to the human experience. Arguably the largest celebration of avant-art, sound and music in the Bay Area, Soundwave ((5)) HUMANITES will feature over 90 participating artists and musicians, in over 35 inspired performances, concerts, exhibits and conference panels & presentations over the span of 3 entire months.

‘These innovative artists and musicians will uncover the future of humanity from bionic brainwave instrumentations, subconscious realities, technohuman immersions, Zen-inspired performances, hybrid mythologies, new dimensions, and other artist imaginations,’ says Alan So, Soundwave Festival & Artistic Director. “

Bodies|Sounds|Technologies readers might be interested in checking out The Human Bionic at The Lab on 14th July:

The Human Bionic features innovative instrumentation using the human body that questions the boundaries between the biological and technological. Artists Cantrell, Kuhne and Stuck imagine the hybridization of humans and technology with interactive performances utilizing brainwaves, muscles, sensors and human processing to create and conduct sound. Cantrell creates ‘Sounding Body’ an audience-interactive performance event that uses brainwaves to reveal how our thoughts can take various sonic forms. Multi-media artist Kuhne conjures ‘Rebound’ using videos and sensors to activate sound and image. Stuck presents ‘Pressed’ positioning the dancer’s real body between a symbolic language that directs movement and the video record of past movement. The Human Bionic explores our physical connection to technology while raising questions as to what is at stake, and what can be lost, by organic bodies and their interrelationships as technological implements become increasingly ubiquitous and essential in our current society.

The Future Bionic looks pretty good, too; Jay Kreimer’s ‘Born Wireless’ sounds particularly fascinating and I hope to write a blog post about it soon (a naive proposition, perhaps, given that I am stuck in the UK and won’t be able to see it ‘in the flesh’). Other exciting offerings include:  The New Humanity Conference: Technohumanity at Intersection for the Arts and The Meta Bionic at The Lab (featuring work by  M+V (aka Tavis Johns & Paulina Velázquez), Guillermo Galindo, and NASSA ). For more info, check out the Soundwave ((5)) website.

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Douglas Kahn @ STEIM

[Stolen from the STEIM mailing list]

‘Douglas Kahn: Listening Session

1966: Natural Electromagnetic Sounds, From Brainwaves to Outer Space

Date: Monday, October 10
Venue: STEIM, Utrechtsedwarsstraat 134, Amsterdam
Time: 20.30 hrs.
Charge: 5 euros

 A special evening at STEIM, organised by Sonic Acts, DNK and STEIM on Monday 10 October 2011 at 20:30 hrs, following Douglas Kahn’s lecture at Stedelijk Museum on Sunday 9 October.

Douglas Kahn, author of the acclaimed Noise, Water, Meat, a History of Sound in the Arts, and co-editor of the brand new Source, Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973, guides us through the fascinating history of art which uses natural radio, electromagnetic sound and brainwaves. It’s a listening session, so it includes many audio recordings and video material, some of it very rare.

In a 1966 preparatory note for Variations VII, John Cage wrote to David Tudor that they should include sounds of brainwaves and a radio astronomy telescope, and that they “give credit to Lucier for brain and outer space.” Alvin Lucier had already performed his “brainwave piece”, Music for Solo Performer (1965) and Whistlers (1966), based on natural ionospheric and magnetospheric radio. For Lucier, both compositions used forms of “natural electromagnetic sound” and, in combination, they described a new type of spatial environment. Also, in 1966 the Swedish composer Karl-Birger Blomdahl created Altisonans, a nationally broadcasted television composition relating natural radio and satellite telemetry sounds to those of birds. These activities involved physicists, Rudy Kompfner, Billy Klüver, Edmond Dewan, Millett Morgan, and Ludwik Liszka to varying degrees, from non-cooperation to close collaboration. This session will include ! these audio and visual compositions, as well as background recordings from the period, some of them very rare.

Douglas Kahn is a Research Professor at the National Institute of Experimental Arts (NIEA), College of Fine Arts, at University of New South Wales, in Sydney. He is a historian and theoretician of the media arts and music, with a focus on sound, electromagnetism, and natural media. His books include Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press, 1999), the newly published Source: Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973, a rich documentary source of experimental music, edited with Larry Austin, and the forthcoming Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts, edited with Hannah Higgins. His major project, Earth Sound Earth Signal, is the product of a decade of research into natural electromagnetic and acoustical phenomena occurring at a geophysical scale in the arts, media, science and military from the late 19th century to the present, and includes an attempt to theorize media in terms of nature.’

Music and the Brain

The Interdisciplinary Society for Quantitative Research in Music and Medicine (ISQRMM) have rather handily posted videos of the keynote speech from their recent conference on YouTube.  Dr Mark Tramo talks on “Functional Brain Organization in Relation to Music Cognition”:

You can also view part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5.

Research into music and health seems to be a rapidly growing field. I don’t know anything about ISQRMM, but I find their focus on understanding ‘the effects of music on the health of the human mind, body and soul’ a little troubling due to its insistence on Cartesian dualism. But perhaps I’m just reading too much into it.