Fluid Sounds

Research output: Contribution to journalDebate/Note/Editorial


Explorations and analysis of soundscapes have, since Canadian R. Murray Schafer's work during the early 1970's, developed into various established research - and artistic disciplines. The interest in sonic environments is today present within a broad range of contemporary art projects and in architectural design. Aesthetics, psychoacoustics, perception, and cognition are all present in this expanding field embracing such categories as soundscape composition, sound art, sonic art, sound design, sound studies and auditory culture. Of greatest significance to the overall field is the investigation of sound, site and the social, and how the spatial, the visual, and the bodily interact in sonic environments, how they are constructed and how they are entangled in other practices.With the Seismograf special issue Fluid Sounds, we bring this knowledge into the dissemination of audio research itself by introducing a new format: The Audio Paper. The purpose of the audio paper is to extend the written academic text: to present discussions and explorations of a certain argument or problem in sound. The audio paper is an extension of expressive means: Not only words and syntax are means of expression – so are tempo, time, voice, sound and music. Our goal is to bring analytical and performative awareness to academic means of expression, and the audio paper provides us with a new and experimental platform to do so. Our thoughts about and definition of the audio paper is explained in the first text of the issue: Audio Papers – a manifesto.From site specific audio performances to academic audio paperThe first presentation of the audio papers took place in June 2015 during the conference Fluid Sounds, a cluster during the Performance Studies International annual conference, Fluid States – performances of unknowing. (Read more about the conference)The aim of the conference was partly to investigate the selected sites of the immediate area (Amager Strandpark, Urbanplanen and Musiktorvet), and partly to challenge the conventional conference format with performances (in the widest sense) and by drawing from the development in recent information technologies. The aim was to work with new mediated formats taking the bodily, situated and affective modes of research into play.By merging anthropologies of sound with site-specific performances, the conference explored new ways of investigating urban spaces and landscapes. Underlining listening, sensing and experiencing as part of research processes the Fluid Sounds conference wished to venture into artistic research practices. Or, as addressed in Holger Schulze’s opening keynote lecture, taking place at Kastrup Søbad (a.k.a. Sneglen), "Research in a specific sensory or non-sensory field requires at first a basic orientation, a sensible and maybe unconventional but always highly individual account of what is actually there: What is here, what have we now?" Schulze’s lecture was followed by two site-specific performances in Urbanplanen: Brandon LaBelle’s On the productions of a poor acoustics and Jeremy Woodruff’s Green Interactive Biofeedback Environments (GIBE). (Further analyses in Groth & Samson (2016) Sound Art Situations, forthcoming).This day of the conference ended at Teaterøen, with the performance music4gigants by Heaven.Fluid Sounds was not only an exploration of how to gain knowledge through site-specific lectures and performance; it was also a conference with the purpose to transform academic knowledge into various aesthetic and performative formats such as site-specific sound performances, audio walks or sound installations. The audio papers were developed through workshops during the conference. As such, they serve as an academic response to questions of situations, performances and media technologies.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Musicology


  • audio paper
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 30
Publication categoryResearch
EventFluid Sounds - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 2015 Jun 182015 Jun 21