Call for Participations, papers, experiments.

ISACS17 – International Sound, Art and Curating Conference Series – ZKM, Karlsruhe 28-30 September 2017

Resonant Worlds – Curating Sound, Art & Science

‘Resonant World’ is the metaphor, suggested by H.C. Andersen to Danish Physicist H.C. Ørsted in their search for a way to describe the physical world appearing in phenomena such as acoustics and electro-magnetism*. In this (poetic) vision, the physical world is indeed a resonant world in which seemingly static or solid objects are in a constant flux of energy or entropy. The world is best represented in-between ‘mental orchestrations’ and ‘sonic manifestations’ that perform ephemeral information emanating from a variety of new ‘epistemological’ instruments (such as the spectrograph or phonograph [others, better examples?]).

The metaphor of resonance has since entered the vernacular of as different areas as molecular science (Weibel and Ljiljana Fruk), sociological philosophy (Hartmut Rosa), and various domains of sound analysis (Kramer) and production (Sutter).

Thus, the metaphor of resonance does more than hint at a physical world we cannot see but still resonate in us; it also describes a world we cannot perceive without instruments. Thus, it marks a change in the perception of the physical world; or, rather, it changes our understanding of how the physical world (and ourselves as part of it, as resonant beings) may be perceptible, if at all. The resonant world is a world of technological perception and distributed reflectivity. The notion that technology is our transcendence (Heidegger) at the same time points out and hides the complexities involved in acknowledging the materiality behind the technological perception of that resonant world. Theories of experience, reflectivity and discourse all examine art and artistic practices as a way to work within scientific epistemology. In the 1820s, resonant worlds pointed towards a new collaboration between art, sound and science. It is suggesting an essential conceptual framing of the field of art and science which inescapably involves sound as acoustic materiality and sonic representation. A conceptual framing which implies structures of understanding and meaning from the world of sound and acoustics by which art and science operate; and by which those worlds are being operationalized (interpreted, contextualized, understood). Sound points out a different ontological status of the world both art and science aims at describing. It is a field which has seen much activity within post-humanism, post-phenomenology and post-positivism. It is, moreover, a field which operates in the second scientific revolution (Ihde, Whitehead), techno-science, and techno-genesis (Hayles).

We call for submissions across a variety of categories that (re)investigate the resonating intersections of sound, art and science today. We especially welcome papers that experiment with the academic format, such as curator-based research, performative academics, audio papers, documentation-based or other practice-based formats.

All papers must be submitted online:

Deadline for proposals (abstracts including practice-samples): May 1 (notification July 15).

Full paper deadline (if abstract is accepted): September 1.

Authors should consider one of the following tracks when submitting:

  1. The Meta Track: Histories of Sound, Art & Sciences
  2. The (post)human Track: Technology and Resonance
  3. The Curation Track: Contexts of Sound, Art & Sciences
  4. The Science Track: Sound and Sonification as Evidence
  5. The Art Track: A selection of sound art will be selected to be performed or exhibited at ZKM.
  6. The un-curation track: everything unwinds and fall apart.

Resonant Worlds is chaired by Morten Søndergaard and Peter Weibel.

ISACS17 conference is hosted by ZKM in collaboration with Aalborg University and DIAS Art Space, Denmark.



*In Danish, Andersen and Ørsted are fascinated by ‘klang’ and ‘naturens symmetriske klangfigurer’, visible in experiments with resonating plates and the vibrations from a violin. Ørsted and Andersen (in converation) invented a new word in Danish for this imaginative yet very present ‘universal vibrational force’ shared by all phenomena: ‘genklang’ (resonance). References:

Knud Bjarne Gjesing (2013): “Ørsted og Andersen og guldalderens naturfilosofi” in Kvant;
(2000) “Guddommelige Klange” in Berlingske Tidende (newspaper), August 26.
Karen Jelved, Andrew D. Jackson, and Ole Knudsen (1998), Selected Scientific Works of Hans Christian Ørsted, Princeton University Press.