Acoustic Infrastructure – Eyebeam, New York (2016)

Between 2012 and 2016, Jamie Allen and I worked together with Roddy Schrock on a project for Eyebeam, loosely termed the ‘Domesticated sound’ project and later also with the draft title ‘Resonant Worlds’.

Over the four years, it developed into the Acoustic Infrastructure exhibition and seminar, which was shown August 22, 2016-September 12, 2016 at various locations in New York City and at Eyebeam. Accompanying papers and essays were published at the continent online journal

[the following is quoted from Eyebeam’s website]

Acoustic Infrastructure is a sound art exhibition that examines the sound of the everyday. This exhibition takes sound art outside of museums and gallery spaces, embedding it into the semi-public space of the lobby of the Ace Hotel in Manhattan. By commandeering public address systems that are already in place, used for sonic signage, Acoustic Infrastructure provokes listeners to imagine a city where sound art intermingles with advertisements and muzak. (Read more about this concept in the special issue of Continent Journal.)

These works were the result of summer Project Residencies focused on sound art and the politics of public address.

Still Sleeping, by Meira Asher
This work by Israeli artist Meira Asher revolves around motherly fear in the context of precarity in Palestine. Developed as a reflection on the death of 16-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burnt alive in July 2014, it draws on her experience of traveling with her children through the South Sinai desert a month later. Her fears for her children as a mother “leak” through her daily experience and impact the way that she hears.

Urban Intonation, by Brian House
“Living under the paving stones, consuming our refuse, and incubating our diseases, the mythos of the NYC rat reflects the underside of global, urban capitalism.”  Brian House gathers snippets of sounds from New York City rats—squeaks, chirrups, and bruxing—edited together and shifted into the human auditory range. This work speculates about whether there is a connection between nonhuman communication and the anxiety of the urban public.

This exhibition is accompanied by a special issue of Continent journal. It will be followed by a symposium at Eyebeam including an installation by #trashDAY in the restrooms. An additional installation of this concept will take place at DIAS Kunsthal in Vallensbaek, Denmark. Acoustic Infrastructure is made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Acoustic Infrastructure is organized and curated by Jamie Allen with Michael Clemow in New York, and Morten Søndergaard with Rasmus Vestergaard in Copenhagen.