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About

How

Sonic Thinking attempts to inspire new and different forms of sound related discourse by connecting audio culture with critical art practice, art historical positions, and current debates on curatorial practice. As a hub for discursive frameworks it spawns alternatives to traditional discourses which tend to rely on categorical conceptions of 'sound art' and 'music'.

Facing the question where, when and how this 'sonic thinking' could be collectively discussed and explored, it sounded appropriate to situate this project within the context of contemporary "visual" art, and to take curatorial practice as a framework for investigations of this kind. On this account, the project focuses on contemporary critical art practices and their challenge to the conventions of discursive, spatial and acoustic form, altogether providing an ideal setting for researching the social and political dimensions of sound and listening.

Every mode of listening implies a choice for a certain mode of perception, ranging from passive hearing to active listening. Active listening begins with a conscious reflection of what one hears, and goes as far as investigating the listening situation itself, its spatial, cultural, social, political and ideological context. From an auditory perspective, public space is, for instance, often merely perceived as a realm of functional sounds, with the majority of its acoustic elements being more or less necessary by-products of daily life. Departing from that perception, this platform aims to amplify the fact that "acoustic space is enunciative of social relations" (as the audio activist group Ultra-red aptly put it), within which we are constantly filtering and accentuating while listening and resonating to the acoustic realm as a socially, politically, and ideologically produced space.

The approach of this platform, however, is not to generate new ontological insights with regard to our society. It rather wants to inspire ongoing critical discourses to (re)install, (re)think and (re)organize modes of listening as prolific contexts for a critically informed aesthetic theory and practice: by reinterpreting the correlation of critical art practice and sonic culture, and by proposing appropriate contexts, formats, theoretical backgrounds and case studies for that matter. Curatorial practice thus becomes a tool for collective research in this case, taking shape in any formal framework that allows for radical thinking to be embedded in a theoretical and practical context open for input and exchange. With this in mind, the platform wants to set up an open dialog around new ways of thinking sound in theory and practice by creating exhibitions, installations, performances, interventions, concerts, books, respectively by testing any mode of address that seems most compelling for the time and space given.