[CFP] Gender and Ability, Technology and Sound

This cross-disciplinary symposium examines the intersections of listening and ability as it relates to issues of gender and technology. Devoted to the dissemination of new unpublished research and exciting interdisciplinary encounters, the symposium will bring together leading scholars from the sciences and humanities as well as community activists to discuss political, cultural, and historical issues at the nexus of listening and ability.

The symposium will consist of invited keynote lectures, seminars, and papers sessions by leading scholars in the fields of psychology, science and technology studies (STS), and the humanities. Dr. Sandra Trehub and Dr. Mara Mills will present keynote lectures on their work in psychology and ability-technology studies, with follow up discussions planned throughout the conference. Dr. Carol Stabile will chair a panel on the challenges faced by women in the sciences and STS. There will also be a series of paper presentations with respondents from among University of Oregon’s leading faculty in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.We welcome research from a broad range of perspectives, including neurobiology, developmental psychology, music therapy, ethnomusicology, linguistics, anthropology, music perception and cognition, language acquisition, cognitive neuroscience. We interpret these fields widely, and invite scholars who engage in dialog with these fields – regardless of the discipline with which they self-identify.

Scholars of deafness like Mara Mills argue that hearing and voicing have functioned as key modes for defining and discriminating human sociality in such a way that leaves Deaf and hearing-impaired individuals on the margins of the social world. Doubtlessly, technology has played a central role both in re-inscribing and ameliorating this audist and phonocentric world. This conference invites researchers, scholars, and/or activists to participate in a conversation regarding how we think about deaf/Deaf issues historically, technologically, and futuristically. Further, we invite engaged intellectuals to combine the issues of ability and sound with other paradigms of activism and theory, such as anti-colonialism, anti-racism, and/or feminist issues.

Papers are invited that report empirical and theoretical research addressing these topics and expanding our knowledge of these intersecting fields. Researchers interested in presenting a paper should submit a 500 word abstract by  February 11, 2013 detailing 1) the main findings or argument of their papers, and b) their potential to contribute to broad conversations in the sciences and humanities around gender, technology, listening, and ability (please visit the symposium website for more details). Abstracts should be submitted to jmendoz4 .AT. uoregon.edu

Submissions will be reviewed anonymously by symposium organizers Jenny Mendoza and Bryce Peake in consultation with leading scholars in their fields. Selected papers from this event will also be submitted as part of a proposed issue on gender, sound, technology, and ability for Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology. In its first issue, Ada received over 30,000 downloads, and we look forward to expanding the exciting conversations regarding gender, new media, and technology occurring there.

[Call for Papers] Gli Spazi Della Musica: Sounding Bodies

Another CFP on the subject of ‘Sounding Bodies’, though this time it’s not from me. Università degli Studi di Torino have put out a call for papers that address the relationships between listening and sounding bodies across the fields of musicology, gender studies, performance studies, and more.

«Gli spazi della musica» is divided into two main sections: the first, called Saggi, comprises Ricercari, a series of free papers on basic topics of musicological research, and Variazioni, a series of papers on a given theme to examine a specific topic. The second section, called Strumenti, has a practical and teaching function.

The editorial board actively encourages authors to submit contributions for the upcoming issues, for both parts in the first section, the Ricercari on free themes, and the Variazioni on a given theme.

The theme for the Variazioni in the two issues of 2013 is

Sounding bodies: spaces, identities, relationships.

  1. Representations, images and musical constructions of the bodies: how is the body told by the music? How is it hidden? By what means the music builds and transforms the bodies? how does it inscribe different identities in it?
  2. Musical bodies, listening bodies: what is the physical component of the musical performance? how will be the body included in a work and how the somatic, psychological and motional dimension influences musical structures? What action does the sound carry on the listener’s body and her/his perception? How is the playing, singing, listening body represented in arts, cinema, literature?
  3. Bodies, instruments, sounding bodies: what kind of relationships exists between bodies and instruments? How is built the body of instruments? What are the effects of the music and of the voice on bodies and identities?
  4. Bodies, music, spaces: what are the relationships between bodies, spaces, and languages in the performance? Does the sound shape the space and its perception by the body?

Deadlines for all types of contributions (Ricercari and Variazioni), according to the Author guidelines on the website (Linee guida per gli autori) and provided with an abstract of 600 characters:
31 January 2013 for the first issue,
30 June 2013 for the second one.

Papers must be submitted to the address glispazidellamusica.lettereefilosofia@unito.it

Supported languages are Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish.


View the full CFP on the journal website.

[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.

[Event] Gadget & App-Culture: sound and the machinery of the senses

‘How does mobile audio technology transform our perceptual techniques?

How does an anthropology of sound and the senses offer new insights into our everyday life with sounds?

The DFG Network for Sound in Media Culture has invited two of the most important international researchers in the field of sound studies, Jonathan Sterne and Veit Erlmann, to an afternoon of explorations: to explore the anthropology and cultural history of audile techniques – as examples of sensory technologies in populare culture. An audio performance by AGF a.k.a Antye Greie is at the center of this symposion. Michael Bull and Peter Wicke will respond to the two main lectures.

An introduction into sound studies as a – rapidly expanding and developing – transdisciplinary and international field of research.’


Friday October 28, 2011
4pm – 8pm

Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin
John-Foster Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin


Further information is available on their website.

Dancing to an Invisible Beat

Brandon LaBelle: Notes Toward a Sketch of a Sonic Body

In Notes Toward a Sketch of a Sonic Body, sound artist Brandon LaBelle explores the sound of dancing bodies. But there’s a catch: he’s taken away the music they were dancing to, leaving only the audible traces of their movements. The work is made of audio recordings of dancers listening to music on wireless headphones. Microphones placed around the room picked up the sound of the movements made by the dancers in response to what they were listening to. As a further layer of the work, LaBelle asked participants to explore these initial sounds through movement without the mediating layer of electronics.

 ‘The different approaches outline an energetic territory determined by listening. The recordings form acoustic identities, highlighting dance as a heated sonic. The Sonic Body is a work that aims for a total embodying of sound, as a sensual micro-event.’

In the exhibition the audio recordings were projected back into a space through wall-mounted loudspeakers, leaving the audience both to reconstruct this performance from its auditory archaeology and (perhaps inadvertently) to add a further layer of sound of their own as they walk around the space. What I really like about this work is that it throws bodily presence in front of musical presence, subverting the usual relationship between body and beat, but removes the visible presence that would normally mediate the relationship between body and audience. Instead it offers only faint traces of both movements and moments of listening.

A recording of the work is now available from Errant Bodies.

You can read a review of the CD from Neural.

Find out more from Image Music Text Gallery, which hosted the exhibition.

Read a  review of the exhibition by David Yu at Artslant.

Body, Sound and Technology Bibliography

I have added a short bibliography of texts that may be useful for people beginning research on the body, music and technology. It’s by no means exhaustive, but is meant as a brief introduction to some of the theoretical work in this area. You can view it by clicking the link at the top of the page. The list only contains books at the moment; I’ll add journal articles and feature pieces as soon as I get time. Information about artists, works and other relevant blogs can be found on the links page. If there are any texts you feel should be added to the bibliography, then please email me or leave a comment. Happy reading!