The Listening Biennial
July 15–August 1, 2021
Participating institutions, organizations, and collectives:
1983, Hong Kong; aerial, Bergen; AMEE, Madrid; Ayer, Guadalajara; Culture Monks, Kolkata; École d’art Université Laval, Quebec City; Errant Sound, Berlin; Generator Projects, Dundee; Investigaciones del Futuro, Buenos Aires; Klank.ist, Istanbul; Liquid Architecture, Melbourne; National Arts Festival, Makhanda; Noise N’ Roses, Budapest; Space21, Kurdistan; TAFMA, Nagaland; TheCube Project Space, Taipei
Within today’s intensely polarized environment, in which political and social debate often tend toward conflict or impasse, might listening enact an intervention? While focus is often placed on making statements, capturing history, and the importance of free speech, listening is radically key to facilitating dialogue, understanding, and social transformation. To listen is to extend the boundaries of the familiar, the recognized, and the known. In addition, listening affords more egalitarian, decolonized, and ecologically-attuned relations, staggering exclusionary systems and human exceptionalism by way of empathetic, attentional, and more-than-human orientations: to hear beyond the often fixed schema of self and other. Listening is a power, it may open and hold, it may support and attend, and it may afford escape and deep friendship. And yet listening is greatly undervalued and neglected across society.
The Listening Biennial draws attention to listening as a relational capacity, a philosophical and political proposition, a creative practice, and research framework. From radical empathy to weak ontology, poetic refusal to diasporic resistance, eavesdropping to intimate envelopment, listening wields a creative and critical force that may contribute to maintaining the diversity of our social and creaturely adventure.
The Listening Biennial brings together an international group of participating artists, musicians, and researchers, to pose questions and experiences of listening. The Listening Biennial is conceived as a global project and aims at a curatorial construct of shared resonances and polyvocal manifestations. This includes the exhibition of audio works, experimental performances, workshops and discursive events presented across a constellation of collaborating institutions, organizations, and venues, where listening and locality are accentuated, and cultural specificities contribute to a greater ecology of attention. From critical storytelling, experimental noise, and musical rapture to acoustic care, interspecies contact, and environments of sounded matter, the Biennial aims at fostering a listening world.
Octavio Aguilar & Diego Martínez Guillén (Mexico), Khyam Allami (Iraq/UK), Wah-yan Au & Yannick Dauby (Hong Kong/Taiwan), Georges Azzaria (Canada), Tania Candiani (Mexico), Antoine Chessex & Mélia Roger (Switzerland/France), Michele Chu (Hong Kong), Cyclops (Carlos Amorales & Enrique Arriaga) (Mexico), Bidisha Das (India), Emcsi (Hungary), Julie Faubert (Canada), Yolande Harris (UK/US), Jeph Jerman (US), Orsolya Kaincz (Hungary), Nandita Kumar & Joseph Kamaru (India/Kenya), Isuru Kumarasinghe & Sara Mikolai (Sri Lanka), Bárbara Lázara (Mexico), Sharon Lee (Hong Kong), Sandra Monterroso & Manuel Estrella Chí (Guatemala/Mexico), Ziad Moukarzel (Lebanon), Alecia Neo (Singapore), Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere (US), Jocelyn Robert (Canada), Ish S (India), Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec (Slovenia/NL), Surabhi Saraf (India/US), Mene Savasta (Argentina), Wantanee Siripattananuntakul (Thailand), Alexandre St-Onge (Canada), Fernando Vigueras (Mexico), Raheleh (Minoosh) Zoromodinia (Iran/US).
A related performance and discourse program is presented by the participating institutions and collectives, featuring local and international artists and scholars working through a range of approaches and topics, including Mladen Dolar, Margarida Mendes, Daniela Medina Poch, Reynols, Mendi + Keith Obadike, KMRU, among others. This includes the launch of The Listening Academy, a research academy on listening, sonic practices, and sound studies, occurring simultaneously in Berlin and London, and led by Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Lucia Farinati, Brandon LaBelle, and Carla J. Maier with Luz María Sánchez, Caroline Bergvall, Kate Lacey, and Leah Bassel.