Sound it out!

at the intersection of sound and social research

Tue, 2018-11-20 14:00 to Wed, 2018-11-21 13:00
DCU - Department of Culture Studies
Uvt Campus, Warande and Paradox (town centre)

A two-day seminar on the topic of ‘Sound and social research’ organized by the the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University, will take place next week, on 20-21 November.

The seminar will consist of lectures, listenings and performances hosted both on and off university campus. Topics covered include the role and the opportunities offered by sound in creating knowledge, the relevance of established and emergent sound-based practices at the intersection of art and social science, as well as the overall increasing importance of this issue in academic research.

In particular, the wide spectrum of topic will be explored through the concept of ‘representation’ and will privilege an interdisciplinary approach via the presentation and discussion of the work of guest artists and scholars. 

The following is the full program of the seminar:



Location: AZ 210 / Campus Tilburg University


h. 14.45 : Introduction by O.M.Heynders, Piia Varis and Antonio Sforna


h. 15:15 : When Academia meets sound(s)

(Moderator: Marcel Cobussen; Presentation: Kristine Samson and Sanne Krogh Groth; Presentation: Marcel Cobussen)

This panel looks into the contemporary landscape of academic research at the intersection of sound and more traditional forms of conveying, crafting and representing knowledge. The medium of sound can be considered both ancillary to writing as well as acting independently from it. In this scenario, sound as a fact of social importance in text-based research, runs in parallel with sound-based approaches, reversing the long-standing hegemony of writing and voice-centered scholarship. At the same time, existing forms and conventions typical of the academia are being reworked, adapted and re-created precisely through and because of sound.


h. 16:30 : Affects, space, and non-representational aspects of sound

(Moderator: Michael Gallagher; Presentation: Michael Gallagher; Artists: Els Viaene, Davide Tidoni, Daniel Perez Hajdu, Valeria Merlini)

In the past decade, scholars have explored and emphasized the relevance of affects and space in the ‘ways of knowing’ enabled by sound. Practices of listening, soundwalks, field recordings and notions such ‘soundscape’ and ‘embodiment’, pushed forward different ideas of experiencing and thinking about the world. In this sense, a growing number of heterogeneous investigations is contributing to shape research in social sciences, and the current section will both elaborate further on the topic and introduce the work of four guest artists.


h. 20.30 : Paradox - Concerts and performances

Els Viaene is a sound artist / field recordist exploring the aural landscapes surrounding us. Working on sound materials she makes the listeners travel in imaginary environments, making the physical borders both appear and disappear. For the occasion, she composed a binaural piece where the audience is invited to be part of an emergent space. Can my ears become yours? Can the shared space become a place where we experience something together?

Davide Tidoni is a researcher interested to the relational dimension of listening and the uses of sound in everyday life. His work include site-specific interventions, live performances and audio recording projects in which he focuses on the role of observation, action and participation. In Paradox, Tidoni presents a set of recordings made during the years emphasizing the affective dimension of sound and its direct implications for the listener.   

Valeria Merlini (aka JD Zazie) is a DJ, avant-turntablist, sound artist and curator. She explores different approaches of real-time manipulation on fixed recorded sound sources. Juxtaposition, decontextualization, fragmentation, repetition, scratch and error are elements of her grammar in compositional practice. Sounds of the everyday in an urban context will be the protagonists of her performance in Paradox .

Daniel Perez Hajdu studied acousmatic composition and is currently teaching at the Conservatory of Mons (Belgium). Initially exploring the relationship between sound and image, he developed further his interest on recording as a form of writing, always moving on the edge of representation and abstraction. In Paradox, Perez Hajdu will present a multichannel piece, addressing the role of space in sound and composition.



Location: Blackbox+Warande/Campus Tilburg University. 

h. 09.00 : Fiction, documentary and performance

(Moderator: Antonio Sforna; Presentation: Cabiria Chomel, Antonio Sforna, Franziska Windisch)

This section focuses on the role of sound in fiction and documentary practices, widely used in anthropology, and its importance in interdisciplinary and performance contexts. In all such cases, sound has become a viable tool for disseminating, rethinking knowledge and analysing social facts. It has done so by introducing new politics and aesthetics of representation. In order to reflect on these issues an audio documentary, an audio fiction  and a spatial performance will be part of this final panel. 

Cabiria Chomel,  is an author of radio documentaries and lives currently in Brussels. Graduating with a Masters of History and Political Science from University Sorbonne, she then developed her skills in radio creation at the ACSR – Radio and Sound Design Lab. She has directed several radio plays including Les mangeurs de hérissons (Hedgehogs Eaters) in 2014, Les habitués de nuit (The Night Regulars) and L'éscamoteur (The Illusionist) in 2015.

Franziska Windisch, lives and works in Cologne and Brussels. Her work moves between the areas of performance, text, composition and installation. She develops scores for performances and actions, that often address the notion of the trace, the medium, the finite and the unknown. Creating situations in which transformatory processes become tangible or setups with unpredictable or irreversible results are essential aspects of her artistic practice.

h. 12.15 : Conclusion