Jan 072014
An Exhibition Hosted by Sound@Newschool
January 24th through February 5th 2014
Reception and events on January 29th 5:00 – 9:00

5:30 – Earlids Reception
6:30 – Performance 0’00” Derek Baron
7:00 – Talk by Tom Roe of transmission arts organization Wave Farm and artist Sam Sebren
8:00 – Performances Melissa Grey – Appassionata (10min) and 60×60 (2012) New York Minutes Mix (60 minutes)Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries Hallway
66 5th Avenue, New York City

“Come with me now and sit in the grandstand of life. The seats are free and entertainment is continuous. The world orchestra is always playing: we hear it inside and outside, from near and far. There is no silence for the living. We have no ear lids. We are condemned to listen.”     – R. Murray Schafer

We are often reminded that we are a culture of spectacle. If we privilege our eyes, what does it mean to return our attention to our ears and listening? As Schafer and many others have argued, our ears open us to the world. Our species once depended on the openness of the ear to shape understanding; the survival of our earliest forebears may have depended on a keen attention to the snaps, scrapes and echoes that surrounded them as signals of imminent danger. As long as there have been sensate ears to hear it, sound has been leveraged as a tool to create community, to maintain power, to please, and to punish, but have we begun to lose our appreciation for the potency of this sense that sits in the shadow of vision? How can listening and the openness of the ear help us to think through interdisciplinary work in art, philosophy, media and beyond?

In the exhibition Earlids, the research group Sound@Newschool draws attention to some of the many manifestations of sound within our own university including performance, radio documentary, sound and image, interactive installations, community-based podcasting, video, and sound art. Earlids seeks to engage the following questions: How can sound be used as a vehicle to transport meaning across different disciplines? How might a focus on our methods of listening to, generating, and studying sound, provide a feedback mechanism for shared dialogue? How might sound act as a transdisciplinary hub within the New School?

Earlids began with a call for works from students, faculty, alumni and staff, and the works seen/heard here are drawn from those submissions. Artists include:

Kevin T. Allen Lauren Kelly
Derek Baron Christoffer Laursen Hald
Nicholas Campbell Peter McQuillan
Daniel Creahan Diane Moser
Steven Dale Phuong Nguyen
Diane Dwyer Brittany Paris
Benjamin  Fausch Themistoklis Pellas
Dane Filipczak Nerina Penzhorn
Fantastic Futures Ryan Raffa
Alexandra Gilwit Barbara Siegel
Melissa Grey Rory Solomon
Josephine Holtzman Tessie Word
Melissa Grey Sound Matters
Andrea Kannes


The exhibition is accompanied by two online projects that
can be found at sound.newschool.edu:

  • The Conversation Sound Showcase
    The works presented here will be available as a permanent online exhibition. We will mount a new showcase annually.
  • The Conversation at 2 West 13th Street
    For this online project Sound@ invited participants from the New School and at large to respond sonically to their choice of 33 images taken within the Sheila Johnson Design Center.

You can also look for QR codes at the 2 west 13th street building
to listen to the playlists created for each specific location.



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Jan 142013

In the course Sound Matters, John Roach (faculty in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons the New School for Design) asked his students to consider the transformative act of recording and the way that it alters the reception of sound. The two projects 2pm Diaries and Reduced Listening encouraged students to be attentive not only to the varied qualities of sound, but also the way that sound can play a role in the understanding of time, and (if that doesn’t sound lofty enough) to the often unregarded aspects of daily sonic experience.


Project One – The 2PM Diaries
In this project, students used handheld recorders and became generators of media. Because sound, like video is a temporal medium, students were asked to record at the same time every day (2:00 PM) and for the same duration (2 minutes). How does the act of documenting impact the perception of time? What do the recorded results represent for the recordist? For the listener? (Big thanks to Craig Dongoski whose projects inspired this project)

The act of recording, pointing a microphone at the world, can sometimes be an empowering act. It can connect you in a new way to the sounds around you. Ironically that comes through a mediating device (in this case a Zoom audio recorder), but like adjusting the lights to see something with more clarity, a recording device can sometimes snap things into focus and make you aware of sounds that you might have otherwise ignored.
– from the 2PM Diaries project description

Project Two – Reduced Listening
Following up on the 2PM Diaries, students are asked to consider Michel Chion’s three modes of listening by recording short sounds in their immediate environment that could be considered in isolation as “sound objects”

“Acousmatic sound draws our attention to sound traits normally hidden from us by the simultaneous sight of the causes—hidden because this sight reinforces the perception of certain elements of the sound and obscures others. The acousmatic truly allows sound to reveal itself in all its dimensions.” – – Michel Chion

Record 20 sounds, no longer that 10 seconds each.
Imagine someone else listening to the sound out of context.
What are sounds that generate interest when isolated from their source? Experiment, listen closely for examples inside your own home, explore the refrigerator, the cupboards, etc.

The Edits
After a number of weeks of recording, students were given guidelines to create sound edits with their 2pm recordings. Each recording must use a word drawn from a class-generated pool of nouns, verbs and adjectives, as a prompt.  Some limitations were: one minute in length. Use only 2PM files and reduced listening files as a source. No effects. Only edits, volume adjustments, and multitracking. One track must combine 2pm recordings with the Reduced Listening recordings.

Create one edit based on a Noun (building, sidewalk, drum, gum, television)
Create one edit based on a Verb (scatter, crash, hum, drop, chase)
Create one edit based on an Adjective that is not sound based (scary, repulsive, hopeless, acidic)

  1. Empty by Sarah Marshall [:59]
  2. Creak by Aleen Montchal [1:11]
  3. Horn by Veine Bartos [1:03]
  4. Archival by Gabriella D’Amato [2:11]

The Mashup
In addition to the 2PM edits, the 286 reduced listening files were played randomly through 2 instances of the Max patch Gravitas Phrase Generator

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