PoL # 30 Close Listening → Close Looking?

With Irene Noy
Date: Thursday December 15th, 2016
Time: 18:00 (approx. end 19.30)
Venue: National Portrait Gallery (meet at main reception/main information desk)

<THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED>

Attendees: please download 4 audio files available here < track one / track two / track three / track four > prior to the event and upload them to an mp3 player/smartphone/mobile device with headphones.

Please deposit any bags/coats in the lockers prior to the meeting time as we need to begin promptly at 6pm. Please also ensure you bring along a blindfold (scarf/cloth). For more info email: markpeterwright@gmail.com

final-imageRegency Galleries, National Portrait Gallery (source: Irene Noy)

This PoL is staged in conjunction with Listening Across Disciplines, an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Project initiated by Principal Investigator, Dr. Salomé Voegelin, Reader in Sound Arts at the London College of Communication, UAL, and Co-Investigator, Dr. Anna Barney, Professor in Biomedical Acoustic Engineering at Southampton University.

The network brings together artists, musicians, scientists, technologists and social scientists as well as scholars and practitioners from the humanities to work across disciplinary boundaries on the recently emerging focus on sound and listening. The aim is to initiate a cross disciplinary exchange that draws together auditory research initiatives and methods from across the disciplines to advance its status and use.

As an official network partner PoL is proud to host this listening event with Irene Noy.

PoL #30 Close Listening → Close Looking?

Art galleries have long been criticised for promoting a specific kind of visitor behaviour – being silent. Similar to churches, when entering an art gallery visitors enter a culturally and socially constructed space that historically has encouraged silence in order to intensify the appreciation of art. In response to this critique, some art galleries now regularly ‘enhance’ the experience by accommodating music events. These indeed intensify the ‘eventfulness’ of such spaces but often there is only a loose link between what we hear and what we see – music and art are reduced to a kind of background for each other.

In this session I’ll be leading a series of short experimental exercises that propose new ways of interpreting art in gallery spaces such as at the National Portrait Gallery. We will be using the relatively quiet space of the galleries, which are in effect, increasingly rare in metropolises such as London, in order to recognise the immense potential of silence, especially in its conscious experience as it allows contemplation and internalisation. In addition, we will be experimenting with a variety of listening possibilities and will tune into the impact of listening on our perception of such spaces.

Dr Irene Noy is the author of Emergency Noises. Sound Art and Gender to be published in spring 2017 with Peter Lang (Oxford). As an independent researcher and curator she explores twentieth-century aural and visual culture in Britain and Germany, particularly in relation to gender and the senses. She holds a PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she also recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship. Lately, Irene became known for combining her academic research and meditation practices by leading various experimental tours and workshops. Irene received her education from the University of Edinburgh, University of Bonn and the University of British Columbia. She has worked in institutions such as Berlin Biennale and Bonn Museum of Modern Art.

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