Galerija za zvok, bioakustiko in umetnost / Gallery for sound, bioacustics and art

Critical Approaches to Soundwalking

A polyvocal theoretical presentation and discussion, 120 min
Elena Biserna, Ida Hiršenfelder and Jacek Smolicki
Thursday, 28 Sep, at 18:00

The TO)pot festival opens with a discursive program focused on soundwalking and the connections between walking, listening and critical thinking today. The program features talks and listening sessions by Jacek Smolicki, Elena Biserna and Ida Hiršenfelder to open the discussion with other artists invited to the festival and with the public.

Jacek Smolicki presents his latest book Soundwalking: Through Time, Space, and Technologies (Routledge 2023) through a soundscape composition featuring the contributors′ voices. This book brings together a diverse group of contemporary scholars, artists and thinkers in one of the first comprehensive studies of soundwalking to address urgent challenges and concerns of an environmental, ethical, social and technological nature. (Participation from remote)

Elena Biserna proposes an itinerary in her last edited book Going Out. Walking, Listening, Soundmaking (umland 2022) – an anthology that traces the long legacy of interdisciplinary experimentations at the intersection of walking, listening, soundmaking while exploring the variety of today’s manifold ambulatory projects and their resonance with urgent issues in critical spatial thinking and practice.

Ida Hiršenfelder’s text Exercises in Listenig to the Inaudible (Acoustic Commons, Cona 2022) questions our relationship to the notion of location, its sonority and the meaning of what is heard, discusses various artistic approaches towards these topics through conversations with artists and explores the activity of the CONA institute on the Slovenian sound art and music composition scene, mainly because of its profound relation to the location of listening and the way bodies move in time and space while listening. The location of sound not only informs us about its ecological conditions but gives that place a particular political and social belonging.

Elena Biserna is an independent researcher and curator based in Marseille, France. She writes, talks, teaches, facilitates workshops or collective projects, curates and sometimes performs. Her interests gravitate to listening and situated” art practices related to urban dynamics, socio-cultural processes, and the public and political sphere. Her writings have appeared in several international publications (Les Presses du Réel, Mimesis, Le Mot et le Reste, Errant Bodies, Amsterdam University Press, Cambridge Scholar, Castelvecchi, Bloomsbury, Routledge, etc.) and journals.

beepblip (Ida Hiršenfelder) is a sound artist and archivist. She makes immersive bleepy psychogeographical soundscapes with analogue electronics, DIY and modular synths, field recordings and computer manipulations. She is interested in bioacoustics, experimental music and sound spatialisation. She was a member of the Theremidi Orchestra (2011–2017) and is currently a member of the Jata C group for bioacoustics and sound ecologies. Her solo albums Noise for Strings, Vol. 1 (2019) and Noise for Strings, Vol. 2 (2020) were published by the Kamizdat label.

Jacek Smolicki is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, designer and educator. His work explores critical, existential and technological dimensions of listening, recording and archiving practices in human and more-than-human contexts. It manifests through soundwalks, soundscape compositions, experimental archives, installations and diverse forms of writing. Smolicki holds a PhD from Malmö University and has been a postdoc researcher at Linköping University, an affiliated researcher at Uppsala University, Simon Fraser University, and a 2022/2023 Fulbright visiting scholar at Harvard. In 2019, he co-founded the Walking Festival of Sound.