Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sounding the Counterfactual & Transmètic Heresiarcs — June 27-8


Stream organizers: David Cecchetto, Marc Couroux, eldritch Priest

June 27-8, Goldsmiths, University of London.

That sound and affect are fatally entangled should be obvious, for they share a primordial relation to a zone of indetermination between unconscious bodily impingements and their selective, conscious actualization. This is further suggested by the way sound's im-mediacy and hearing's continuous intake figure audition as a amenability to influenza of various forms that nudge virtual potentials towards predetermined outcomes. For contemporary cybercapitalist power, sound's affective/infective nature plays a key role in ratifying its need to preserve homeostasis through a negative feedback that holds matter and information as equal realities. According to Anahid Kassabian, in a world of ubiquitous, networked technologies, music and sound are crucial vectors across which distributed-informatic subjectivities are constituted, a position advanced by the third wave of cybernetics wherein machinic, mediatic, and prosthetic ecologies have become indissociable from biological processes. Indeed, within this human/non-human commingling control operates virtually, nested within affective states that "unfold the past into the present” and inflect "the way the present acts on the past to unravel a new future.”

Hyperstition, a term coined by the Ccru (Cybernetic Culture Research Unit) and most often attributed to its chief ideologue Nick Land, is a useful point of intervention within a system that suppresses contingency, futurity. According to Land, "hyperstitions by their very existence as ideas function causally to bring about their own reality…transmuting fictions into truths.” Such a formulation is exemplified by finance capitalism's investment in fictional entities such as futures and derivatives to compose an abstract but no less real dimension of profit. However, the manner in which the power of the virtual has been exploited by inhumanist capital to bring about the reality of a speculative profit—as in branding's sorcerous implantation of false memories and future desires, which rewire the very notion of lived experience—points to the promise of hyperstition as producing counterfactual lines of actualization that compel the world to unaffordable futures.

How might sound (noise = rumore (It.) = rumor), the virological, immanent medium par excellence—acoustic space as networked space—be productively leveraged for its capacities to induce, bend, and channel affective potential? How might the effective powers of fiction be sonically enacted? How might spatial redistributions of mobile electronic sound galvanize emergent social and political structures?

PANEL 1—Friday June 27, 11h30-13h00 ("Room 6") (room specifics to come)

Lendl Barcelos—Anethics of Aural Ambiguity
David Cecchetto—Hyperstitional Algorithms, capital and sounding art
Eleni Ikoniadou—Abstract Audio

PANEL 2—Saturday June 28, 16h45-18h15 ("Room 3")

Charlie Blake & Isabella Van Elferen—The Return of the Überthing: Sonic Spectrality, Affective Engineering & Temporal Paradox
Joey Ryken—Asymmetrical warfare in Sound, Magic and Humour: Psycho-sonic parody, slap‐stick, neuroaesthetics, and supra‐sensory chicanery
eldritch Priest (assisted by Marc Couroux)—[Title TBA]


TRANSMÈTIC HERESIARCS: a phonoccultural satellite [FB]
FRIDAY JUNE 27, 20h—1h
LEWISHAM ARTHOUSE: 140 Lewisham Way (near Gsmiths)

Modulating between the abstract/(in)aesthetic through the rhythmic/4-to-the-floor and back again, Transmètic is a night of schizo-disciplinary interchange. A hyperstitional continuum of technofuturist outliers—a heresiarc—collapses the counterfactual emanations of cybervisionaries AUDiNT and Mer Roberts of [0rphan]D[rift>] with the ‘pataphysically mètic incantations of Lord Auch! (Lendl Barcelos, Marc Couroux & Amy Ireland), Bibliothèque and Plastique Fantastique as evidence of an ongoing xenochronic call to the Old (Ph)ones.

Friday, 23 May 2014

CFP – Tuning Speculation II (Toronto, 7-9 Nov. 2014)

Tuning Speculation II: Auralneirics and imaginary networked futures

7-9 November, Toronto (Canada)

Organized by The Occulture (David Cecchetto, Marc Couroux, and eldritch Priest)

Plenary Speakers: Frances Dyson, Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, and Dan Mellamphy

In the context of ubiquitous media not only is the sheer volume of data notable, but so too are the ways in which we encounter, interact with and articulate its abstract mass. This is particularly significant where contemporary social experiences are increasingly interpellated by a technical apparatus in a way that makes the former available only through the invention and deployment of extra-sensory algorithms. The implication of technology in human activity (while always present) in this instance raises new challenges, for the algorithmically negotiated data-bloom of digital networks intensifies the problem of agency by distributing its expression across material and virtual domains that belong to both organic and inorganic systems, as well as actual and fictional entities.

Building on last year’s meeting, this three-day workshop seeks to examine how aurally inflected mediations might address the complexities of agency and its relation to the counterfactual when one’s actions, feelings, thoughts, competences, desires, failures, and daydreams are implicated in the self-adjusting operation of nonlinear networks. For instance, we are interested in the ways that aurality conjures alternative sensitivities to data flows and rhythms of change that allow for both increased agency in existing networked settings but also for the envisaging and summoning of new vectors of agency itself. While several approaches can catalyze such speculations, we propose to concentrate on sounding art—broadly understood—in order to leverage the fated semiotic parasitism, differential production, relational expression, and perceived multiplicity that informs such practices. However, alongside such concentrating we also welcome various reflections on sono-distractions, phonochaosmosis, rhythmanalysis, harmelodic-prescience, audio pragmètics, chronoportation, h/Hypermusic and other invocations of impossible and/or imaginary networked aural futures.

Please send an abstract (maximum 250 words) and bio to no later than 21 July 2014. Notification of acceptance will be given no later than mid-August.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Monday, 5 May 2014

Hello, Hello, Hello

From Glasgow University Voice Recognition Lab

"On hearing a novel voice, listeners readily form personality impressions of that speaker. Accurate or not, these impressions are known to affect subsequent interactions; yet the underlying psychological and acoustical bases remain poorly understood. Furthermore, hitherto studies have focussed on extended speech as opposed to analysing the instantaneous impressions we obtain from first experience. In this paper, through a mass online rating experiment, 320 participants rated 64 sub-second vocal utterances of the word ‘hello’ on one of 10 personality traits. We show that: (1) personality judgements of brief utterances from unfamiliar speakers are consistent across listeners; (2) a two-dimensional ‘social voice space’ with axes mapping Valence (Trust, Likeability) and Dominance, each driven by differing combinations of vocal acoustics, adequately summarises ratings in both male and female voices; and (3) that a positive combination of Valence and Dominance results in increased perceived male vocal Attractiveness, whereas perceived female vocal Attractiveness is largely controlled by increasing Valence. Results are discussed in relation to the rapid evaluation of personality and, in turn, the intent of others, as being driven by survival mechanisms via approach or avoidance behaviours. These findings provide empirical bases for predicting personality impressions from acoustical analyses of short utterances and for generating desired personality impressions in artificial voices."

Monday, 21 April 2014

Transmètic — 1 May

Modulating between the abstract/(in)aesthetic through the rhythmic/4-to-the-floor and back again, Transmètic is a night of schizo-disciplinary interchange.

Featuring artwork/performance/music by:

DJ Big Lasagne
Tim Dixon
Rachael Finney
it’s la*b
Karaoke Ziensgholt
Leonardo Liccini
Plastique Fantastique
rewot wint
Leonor Serrano-Rivas
So Liar X
Harrie Skully
Neasa Terry
Maria Yashchanka
Xi Xi Zhao Zou
+ More TBC

£3 on the door

This event is brought to you by students from
Department of (Aural &) Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Robot Whispers

Reminds me of the Cronenbergian phone we discussed in Vocalities but also the drive to bond with machines from the Turkle book.

Notice the slight assumption that emotional subtleties are already a form of language, signs or code that can be "imprinted onto senses" - like they are consistent, homogenous and quantifiable things that can exist outside of the user - objectified.

"Breath temperature, humidity, smell, and vocal qualities. It augments emotional subtleties and imprints them onto our senses."

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Marc Couroux at LGS: “Sabotage the Audiostat! Hyperstitional Paracoustics & Chronoportational Pragmètics”

For lines of communication will progressively become cross-institutional circuits, the below…

ST. MARTINS will be hosting

“Sabotage the Audiostat! Hyperstitional Paracoustics & Chronoportational Pragmètics”
Marc Couroux (York University, Toronto)

16h-18h on APRIL 15, 2014
Granary Building, E003 (Central Saint Martins)

Music’s amenability to cybernetics is underlined by Claude Shannon, who defined a “singing condition ” as the inability of an automata to recognize its loopy entrapment. Music’s particular affordances, vitalities, and teleological necessities could serve as a model to help ensure a preordained future through the transformation and regulation of extra-musical sound, channelling the impersonal, inhuman death drive (positive feedback) into homeostatic equilibrium (negative feedback). Noise, far from being a nuisance to such cybernetic systems, is in fact essential to periodically restart them. How might an effectively transgressive practice operate given the alien, invasive neuro-military-entertainment avant-garde; what hyperstitional, paradromic methods might hijack and mutate uncommitted affective excess, escaping the reach of capitalist territorialization? This event is intended as a conversation probing the multifarious linkages between music, affective modulation and chronoportation.

Free event, all welcome.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Listening Seminar 4 - Sound Works by Women Artists

The MA in Aural and Visual Cultures Presents:
Listening Seminar 4 - Sound Works by Women Artists 

Curated by Diana Policarpo

This seminar will present new audio pieces by a selection of women artists. It features the work of Adrianna Palazzolo, Cara Tolmie, Diana Policarpo, Hannah Catherine Jones, Jenna Bliss, Jenna Collins, Marina Elderton and Nicola Woodham. 

Each of these artists investigate different aspects of sound, in relation to space, atmosphere and the presence or absence of the image. Through a variety of approaches, these works explore notions of multi-vocality, using rhythm, time, formal and informal speech, narrative and noise, both as material and inspiration.

The works have been compiled back-to-back on a playlist, to prioritise collective listening, over discussion. I hope this event, which is married to space and corporeality, will allow us to question the various ways we experience the sonic world. 

Diana Policarpo, 
March, 2014

Adrianna Palazzolo (b. Toronto, Canada) lives and works in London. She graduated with an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2012. Recent group exhibitions include: Emergency6, Aspex, Portsmouth, UK; Adrianna Palazzolo and Ella McCartney, Peter Von Kant, London; .gif, online exhibition, MMOCA (Main Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art); Perspectivism, Slakthusateljéernas, Stockholm, Sweden and Pavilion, Open File, Grand Union Gallery, Birmingham, UK.

Adrianna's practice is largely based on experimentation, focusing in video and installation works. The soundtrack of each of her works are sculptural, where the sound takes precedence over the image in the editing process. This mode of working can be seen as a way to question the patriarchal relationship of sound and image in film making ideologies in direct comparison to feminist politics.

Cara Tolmie is an artist, born in Glasgow currently based in London, who works with moving image, performance, sound and installation. She made two new projects in 2013; Pley, commissioned and produced by Picture This and exhibited at Spike Island, Bristol and Artissima, Turin; and Otiumfold commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, London and Tower Hamlets. Both used the format of the ‘exercise’ to scrutinise interpersonal relations between groups of performers each navigating their own investigations into play, improvisation and language. She is currently working on new collaborative performances with Patrick Staff for Open File at Outpost, Norwich and Paul Abbott for the Counterflows festival in Glasgow this April. 

Diana Policarpo (b. Lisbon, Portugal), is an artist based in London and recently completed an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College. Her work can mainly be described as a spatial practice: various media such as drawing, performance, sound, writing and spoken word open up different ways for her to delineate and activate objects and space.

She composes and improvises time-based components for polyrhythmic sound sculptures and performative installations, which deal with the performative role that language and power play, both reflecting on reality and on the trandisciplinary field of cultural production. She is currently working on projects with the female collective Cabiria and her first solo show in Germany will be at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden in July 2014.

Jenna Bliss recently completed an MA at Slade School of Fine Art in London and is now based in New York, NY.  Her current project revolves around the radical political action and drug-free detox at Lincoln Hospital Detoxification Clinic in the South Bronx during the 1970s. 

The audio piece for this listening seminar explores the historical moment and location whilst attempting to utilize the detoxifying capabilities of deep breathing and body heat. The culmination of this project will be a video and series of performances. 

Jenna Collins works across sound, video and text to make visible the ways and means by which the body is continuous with the environment, seeking to reveal the pressures, feedback and aspirations that clutter moments of enunciation.

Hannah Catherine Jones (b. Doncaster 1987) investigates the documentation modes of performance art. Using her (live) operatic voice, she often gives (recorded) vocal presence to documenting devices in the moment of performance. Jones’ investigations into language, specifically her punning titles, have recently enriched her practice. Jones has a BFA and MA from Oxford University, an MFA from Goldsmiths and begins a practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths in September 2014.

Marina Elderton is a self-taught musician based in London. She plays guitar and sings in the two-piece KULL (, and improvises live experimental soundscapes alongside Diana Policarpo and Hannah Jones as part of the female collective Cabiria. 
Drawn to the immersive nature of sound as a mind altering tool, she experiments with raw musical elements, embracing atmospheric minimalism and ritualised cycles to access purer conscious states. She will be playing a song from a new independent piano project C'est Celestial. She is currently studying an MA in Composing for Film at the National Film and Television School. 

Nicola Woodham is a sound, performance and video artist. She creates fictions with the voice as a means to explore forms of surveillance and the notion of the female voice as ‘monstrous’. She recently took part in the Totemic Festival, Freud Museum and FLOWS, Vibe Gallery, London. She is part of a collaborative project Zeros + Ones with artists from Stockholm and London. She also contributes regularly to Electric Sheep film magazine.

The Listening Seminar will take place from 8-10pm on March 25th  at Goldsmiths College in NAB LG01 and it is located in the New Academic building  which is to be found at the rear of the College, behind the quad. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

TRANSMÈTIC — Call for Submissions

Call out for submissions.


Submissions and proposals in any media or mode sought for a night of schizo-disciplinary interchange.

Submissions (under one or several names) could include but are not limited to:
- music/DJ sets/bands
- video
- performance
- happenings
- installations
- 2-D or 3-D
- &c./misc/other

Transmètic will take form over an evening and night in early summer modulating between the abstract/(in)aesthetic through the rhythmic/4-to-the-floor and back again.

Please send a short bio and proposal, approximate dimensions/running time with images and/or links to sound/video. Works should function in a pub/venue environment.

Send to:
by Sunday 23rd March

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Shining and The Eerie

The MA in Aural and Visual Cultures Presents:

The Shining and The Eerie

Professor Roger Luckhurst, author of the recent BFI Film Classics book on The Shining, in conversation with Justin Barton and Mark Fisher

February 11th

New Academic Building LG02 7-9 pm

Free and open to all. No booking required

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Cyberlove - Black Mirror S2 EP01

Big thanks to Lisa for flagging this up.

I won't reveal the contents but the episode has big themes about our relationships with technology, cyber simulacra and avatars. Of course, the voice is key...

Watch links here

Monday, 27 January 2014

ASMR - Now used in Veblen Goods Advertisements

I was always fascinated at the luxury/tertiary service bias of ASMR whisperer role plays. It seemed that a majority of ASMR role plays revolved around consumerism. Now Lanvin have made an advert that is basically an ASMR video sans performer webcam.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Listening Seminar 3


Nicola Woodham - Data Chant (2013) stereo sound, 5 mins.

There is an endless chatter, a voice just behind your shoulder, it moves round with you, the imagined monitor. An insurer advises you about home security, she is caught in a glitch, moving around inside your brain. But what is insured? Fragments echo and loop, folding back onto themselves. In between the layers, a sonic figment looms. This piece is a development of ideas explored in a live audio play ‘The Gift Experience’ which ran in 2013 at Weekend OtherWorld at Goldsmiths College and Block Party, Enclave Gallery, London.

Nicola Woodham is a sound, performance and video artist. She creates fictions with the voice: disembodied, distorted or as echo, as a means to critique forms of surveillance. She recently took part in the Totemic Festival, Freud Museum and FLOWS, Vibe Gallery, London. She is part of a collaborative project ‘Zeros and Ones’ with artists from Stockholm and London and also writes for Electric Sheep Magazine.

Robin Bale

The piece begins with the sound of a poured libation splashing on pavement and an invocation to Hermes, perhaps other chthonic gods and psychopomps. It then traces an echo-haunted path through a variety of aural spaces, the dimensions of which morph in response to the mumbling, singing and chanting voices that inhabit them, accompanied by the unending rumble of traffic. The city is reconfigured as a reverberant abode of ghosts – although not those ghosts fondly evoked by companionable antiquarians and their associates in the heritage industry.

Robin Bale is a London-based poet/performer and sound artist. He makes improvised performances utilising verbal and non-verbal vocalisation and basic musical equipment. He also makes recordings that experiment with aural space and mixing aesthetics. Robin is currently a Fine Art practice-as-research PhD candidate at Middlesex University. The working title of his project is “Making (a) Public: the performer and the polity”.

Catherine Linton - She's a bird/ She's a bitch/ She's a Fox

I / Not she has a story to tell. I / Not she makes, She / Not I tells it. It is a female tale, with many I’s and she’s, reflecting on the self, mixing muses from the past and present, forming visual and voiced palimpsests, as light as wings, with dark hirsute tails.

I / Not she lives, thinks, breaths, dies by the gaze and framing, makes up rules, her own set of controls and constraints to play with, manipulate, the stuck single states it tries to impose. She might appear to submit, be dominated, then moves, is multiple, transforms to outwit. Her soft yet firm voice subdues it, has done since I / Not she, and many she before her, took up the pen to fend room of their own.

Catherine Linton is a MAMA of English Literature and Fine Art.

Justin Hopper: Extracts from Public Record: Estuary

Public Record: Estuary is an album-length cycle of audio poems designed to be heard on a walk around the ancient Essex fishing village of Leigh-on-Sea. The poems are inspired by reports of minor sea disasters in the late-19th century Thames estuary, off the coast of Leigh. With texts sampled from period newspaper reports, travel- and nature-writing, folk songs and other primary sources, Public Record: Estuary haunts the coastal landscape with trace memories of its own in-between nature – neither river nor sea, ancient nor modern, city nor countryside.

Justin Hopper is a writer and artist from Pittsburgh, USA, living and working in London. His work explores the relationships between landscape, memory and myth in both nonfiction writing and audio artworks, which combine ideas from documentary poetry, folk song, journalism and ambient poetics.