SOUND ART AS PARTICIPATORY PRACTICE AND INSTITUTIONAL CRITIQUE: REASSESSING THE ORIGINS

Vadim Keylin
2017 Praktiki & interpretacii  
The paper aims to re-examine the origins of sound art from the perspective of audience participation and the role it has in the formation of the art form. I focus on the three pioneering artists: the Baschet brothers, Max Neuhaus and Hildegard Westerkamp, and their respective practices of sound sculpture, sound installation and soundwalking. I show that reimagining the role of the listener as an active participant and co-creator was an important goal for these foundational practices. However,
more » ... actices. However, they differ in their approach towards participation. Sound sculptures engage the listeners in collective music-making. Sound installations invite the participants to re-compose spatially distributed sonic material into a personalized temporal musical sequence. Finally, soundwalks establish a relationship of aesthetic appreciation between the active, agentic listening of the walk's participants and the everyday sound-making practices that compose the acoustic environment. Sound artists' attitudes towards audience engagement can thus be also regarded as a form of institutional critique aimed at established institutions of (musical) listening.
doi:10.23683/2415-8852-2017-4-19-30 fatcat:mmnarbelbzfizp2vqrweq2zdhe