This experimental project by Liquid Architecture reframes English writer and artist John Berger’s classic 1980 essay ‘Why Look at Animals?’ through the prism of sound and listening. We gather together artists, musicians, scientists and historians to investigate human-animal sound via the dynamics of power, knowledge and value in the pursuit of a new question: ‘Why Listen to Animals?’
In partnership with West Space, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Naturestrip, Australian Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Melbourne
Supported by City of Melbourneartists
Eric Avery, Eugene Brockmuller, Alex Cahill, Catherine Clover and Peter Knight, Melissa Deerson with Georgina Criddle, Will Foster and Sabrina D’Angelo, Tamsen Hopkinson, John Jenkin, Max Kohane, Nicholas Kuceli, Tessa Laird, Bunna Lawrie, Camila Marambio, Anthony Magen, Joel Maripil, Sally Ann McIntyre, Louis Kennedy, Miranda Liebscher, Julia McFarlane, Jake Moore, Lynn Mowson and Bruce Mowson, Bryan Phillips, Jack Prendergast, Kim Satchell, Undine Sellbach & Stephen Loo, Rob Thorne, James Utting-webb and Riley Lockett, Cecilia Vicuña, John-Joe Wilson, Fernando do Campo.schedule
THU 29 Sep 2016
Opening night presented by Liquid Architecture and the Australian Indigenous Studies Program, the University of Melbourne, as part of ‘Roze a Wail’: Whales, Whaling and Dreaming conference.
Storytelling, words, and music from Bunna Lawrie, a traditional lawman and medicine man and direct descendant of the Mirning Aboriginal Whaledreaming tribe.
Spontaneous speech and noise acts from Chilean poet, artist, visionaries Cecilia Vicuña and Camila Marambio (Chile) and sound-maker Bryan Phillips.
A song or two from Joel Maripil, an indigenous Mapuche from Chile and a Werken – a cultural elder for the Kechukawin community and Musical Director of the Children’s Orchestra of the Mapuche town of Tirua (Orquesta Infantil Mapuche de Tirua).
Poems by Kim Satchell – New South Wales surfer, performer, writer – on encountering whales, the context of the coast, and the Anthropocene – in collaboration with acoustic ecologist and sound walker Anthony Magen.
Mel Deerson with Georgina Criddle stage ‘Alexander a play for a and b’ about Alexander the Great suspended in a barrel under the sea.
FRI 7 October 2016
Through experiment and alchemy, Rob Thorne (of Ngati Tumutumu iwi) extends traditional Maori flutes and horns made from stone, bone, shell and wood deep into the present. A conversation between the past and the present – a musical passage of identity and connection. By listening, we bring ourselves closer to animals, and our collective animal hearing.
Eric Avery (Sydney) is a Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan man from the Yuin, Gumbayngirr and Bandjalang peoples of NSW, and the recipient of the Naturestrip commission. Eric will paint and perform a graphic score for a song inspired by his meat name, Marrawuy Kabi (Red Kangaroo).
Cecilia Vicuña (Chile) and Camila Marambio (Chile). Legendary Chilean dissident spirit confrontation in the war zone between orality and textuality. Cleaving open a space in the belly of the beast, weaving language’s energies and memories into a radically open listening.
Melbourne artist Will Foster and Sydney dancer Sabrina D’Angelo respond to lyrebird’s modes of display, referencing the Australian Ballet’s production of The Display (1964) by Robert Helpmann, with costumes designed by Sidney Nolan. Begging for love and attention, the Superb Lyrebird mimics the worst of human behaviours.
Experimental animalistic song suite by artist and rock musician Tamsen Hopkinson plus Julia McFarlane of The Twerps plus Melbourne’s best drummer Max Kohane.
THU 20 Oct 2016
LISTENING ACROSS THE ABYSS OF INCOMPREHENSION
Artist researchers Undine Sellbach & Stephen Loo take biologist Jacob von Uexküll’s musical terms describing organisms and their environments from A Theory of Meaning (1940), to speculate on insect symphonies that are discordant, faint and partial tunings, unrecognisable to a human ear.
Artist and writer Tessa Laird responds to philosopher Thomas Nagel who once asked, “What is it like to be a bat?” His point was that as human beings, we will never know. Tessa will be joined by jumbo bonk musician James Grant (aka Abstract Mutation).
Lynn Mowson and Bruce Mowson (mOwson+M0wson ) will publicly animate ‘some inanimate lumps’.
Language artist Catherine Clover and musical explorer Peter Knight collaborate around the political, musical and philosophical complexities of a field recording made in the songbird aviary at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore.
Melissa Deerson speaks for an eel, as an eel speaks for her.
Fernando do Campo will be sharing the recently found archive of 1960′s correspondence between Barnett Newman and the HSSH (House Sparrow Society for Humans). This ubiquitous brown bird may be almost interchangeable with humans’ history, but there are still some things that ‘we’ take for granted…
SAT 22 Oct 2016
Metazoa (noun: the animal kingdom).
For the final event of Liquid Architecture’s “Why Listen to Animals’ program, RMIT’s graduating sound art students will engage a variety of mediums and experimental approaches to explore Berger’s seminal text. Utilizing collaboration, moving image, installation, painting and generative performance, the cohort considers the human-animal relationship and asks how do we listen to animals? And what do we hear when we do?
Installations 12PM – 3PM
Performances 3PM – 6PM
3pm – 3.15 Michael Wilson
3.20 – 3.35 Louis Kennedy
3.40 – 3.55 Eugene Brockmuller
4pm – 4.15 John Jenkin
4.40 – 4.55 Miranda Liebscher
5pm – 5.15 James Utting-Webb and Riley Lockett
5.20 – 5.35 Jake Moore
5.40 – 6pm ‘Because They Listen to Each Other’ (closing group collaborative performance)
Co-curated by Polly Stanton in association with Liquid Architecturedocumentation