Liquid Architecture

Investigations: Eavesdropping Polythinking Ritual Community Music Why Listen?
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Liquid Architecture is an Australian organisation for artists working with sound. LA investigates the sounds themselves, but also the ideas communicated about, and the meaning of, sound and listening.

Our program stages encounters and creates spaces for sonic experience, and critical reflection on sonority and systems of sonic affect. To do this, we host experiences at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music, supporting artists to produce performances and concerts, exhibitions, talks, reading groups, workshops and recordings in art spaces, music venues and other sites.

Liquid Architecture is curatorially driven and our methodology embraces research, collaborations and imaginations. We want to echo beyond local conversations, problems, debates and questions, to reverberate across media and disciplines, and so to sound out new discourses about the audible world, and beyond.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first sovereign owners of this unceded country. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and becoming.

staff

Joel Stern
CEO / Artistic Director Joel Stern is a curator, researcher, and sound artist, concerned with theories and practices of sound and listening. He is the Artistic Co-Director of Liquid Architecture, a leading Australian organisation that stages encounters and creates spaces for sonic experience and critical reflection on systems of sonic affect, at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music. Stern is part of OtherFilm, an artist collective driven by a central curiosity about the limits of the moving image. He has initiated the experimental residency Instrument Builders Project in 2013. Stern is a PhD candidate in Curatorial Practice at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, where he teaches Sound (in the Space of Art).
Danni Zuvela
CEO / Artistic Director With Joel Stern, Danni is Artistic Director/CEO of Liquid Architecture. Since 2004, Danni has co-directed the artists’ collective OtherFilm (co-founded with Joel Stern [Melbourne] and Sally Golding [London]). In 2013 she joined forces with the Gold Coast-based artist-run gallery The Walls, where worked as the Secretary, Curator and Deputy until 2018. At The Walls, she led programming and strategic initiatives, and she continues to generate socially-engaged experimental projects on the Gold Coast. Danni has an academic background, with a research PhD on experimental film and art history, teaching extensively into her field, and publishing critical writing across a range of publications. Danni’s research informs her curatorial work with interests in feminism, activism, ecology, language and performance.
Georgia Hutchison
General Manager Georgia works across creative disciplines with communities, businesses, cultural institutions and policy-makers. Her education and experience spans arts management; industrial design with a social, sustainable and systemic approach; curatorial and cultural leadership. For the last fifteen years she has worked between universities, studio and non-profit environments—most recently researching artist run economies with All Conference; and communicating the built environment with U-P. As an artist Georgia performs and photographs encounters with material scenarios and social currencies.
Debris Facility
Administrator Debris is a speculative corporate entity working from one human body. The Facility entered into partnership with Liquid Architecture to oversee Administration in 2018 onwards. Participation in events organising alongside practice lead research and exhibition productions pushes Administration into an performative medium. Maintaining an active exhibition profile alongside residencies, teaching, collaborations and contracts, the Facility works to amplify it’s reach through the oscillation of signal to noise ratio’s of im/material contexts of exhibition production, media, performance,wearables, installation and interventions.

board

Jennifer Barry
CHAIR JENNIFER BARRY has over 25 years’ experience leading arts organisations, managing creative projects, consulting, producing the work of artists nationally and internationally, and curating public programs. Previous positions include: Manager of Public Programs at Federation Square, Executive Director of Shunpike (Seattle), Director/CEO of Footscray Community Arts Centre, Founder/Director of Keep Breathing, and Executive Producer/Co-CEO of Chunky Move, among others. As a consultant, Jennifer’s clients have included the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, the City of Melbourne, the Australian Art Orchestra, and the Australian Network for Art and Technology, among others. She has served on numerous boards and industry panels and is currently Project Director for the Royal Children’s Hospital 150th Anniversary.
David Chesworth
MEMBER DAVID CHESWORTH is an artist and composer, known for his experimental, and at times minimalist music, who has worked with electronics, contemporary ensembles, film, theatre and experimental opera. Together with Sonia Leber, Chesworth has created installation artworks using sound, video, architecture and public participation. Exhibitions include ‘56th Venice Biennale (2015), ‘19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), ‘Melbourne Now’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013-14). Festivals featuring Chesworth’s music and sound works include Ars Electronica, Festival D’Automne de Paris, Bang on a Can Marathon, New York, Sydney Biennale, Adelaide and Melbourne Festivals and MONA FOMA. Early in his career he was co-founder of post-punk band Essendon Airport and for five years was coordinator of the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre in Melbourne. David Chesworth joined the Liquid Architecture Board in 2015. David teaches Sound (in the space of Art) at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, where he recently completed his doctorate researching sonic framing and temporality with artwork experiences.
Dr Michael Graeve
VICE CHAIR DR. MICHAEL GRAEVE is a sound and visual artist and educator. Michael joined the Liquid Architecture board 10 years ago at the time of incorporation in 2007 and was President and Chair from 2011-2017. Michael has been committed to artist-run culture, developing small arts organisation expertise first as a founding committee member of Grey Area Art Space Inc (1996 -1999) and then as board member and program manager at West Space Inc (2000 – 2004). He exhibits, performs, curates and teaches internationally and teaches in the Sound, Sculpture and Spatial Practice Department, Expanded Studio Practice, Honours and the MFA Program at RMIT University, and has previously taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Monash University, The Victorian College of the Arts and Victoria University.
Andy Miller
MEMBER ANDY MILLER currently works as the General Manager of Multicultural Arts Victoria. Initially trained as a painter at the Canberra School of Art, Andy Miller worked in theatre for a number of years before working to establish arts programs in the community sector. Following a few years as an arts and cultural officer at two local governments, Andy began a career in the state public service in various senior roles at Arts Victoria and Creative Victoria and was seconded for a period with Creative Partnerships Australia, as Senior Programs Manager. As well as a Bachelor in Fine Arts, he has a Masters in Public Policy and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Melbourne.
Phip Murray
MEMBER PHIP MURRAY is an independent writer and curator, and a part-time academic in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT where she lectures in the history/theory of art, design and architecture. Phip was Director of West Space from 2008–2012 and, prior to that, an Associate Producer for the Next Wave Festival. Phip has a particular interest in interdisciplinary art practice, and has curated projects such as Time Has Come Today, a program exploring sound, moving image and performance projects (West Space, 2012) and Tyger, Tyger, a new commissions series including projects by Philip Brophy, Constanze Zikos, David Chesworth, and Juan Davila (West Space, 2011-2012).
Mark Nolen
TREASURER MARK NOLEN is a Certified Practising Accountant with extensive experience in the creative industries sector. He is currently Management Accountant at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, having previously worked in a similar role at Film Victoria. Along the way he has helped countless singers, actors and even clowns get their taxes in order – no laughing matter! When not crunching numbers, you can find Mark sitting back with a fine drop of Scottish Whisky soaking up some even finer tunes.
Kristen Smith
MEMBER KRISTEN SMITH is a legal practitioner with over a decade of experience focused on large scale commercial litigation and class actions. She currently works as an Investment Manager for international litigation financier, IMF Bentham, having previously worked for Slater and Gordon in their Commercial and Project Litigation team. She has also worked at Dundas & Wilson (now CMS) in Scotland and as an Associate to the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Associate Justice Efthim. In 2004, she was awarded the Victoria Law Foundation Chief Justice’s Medal for Excellence and Community Service. She has previously served on the boards of the Australian Communities Foundation and the EastWeb foundation and is currently a member of the M.E.S.S advisory board.

technical

Bridget Chappel
Sound Engineer SOUND ENGINEER
Charlie Freedman
VIDEOGRAPHER
Keelan O’Hehir
PHOTOGRAPHER
Benjamin Portas
MOTION DESIGNER
Jacqui Shelton
PHOTOGRAPHER
Lauren Squire
SOUND ENGINEER
Josh Watson
VIDEOGRAPHER
Public Office
GRAPHIC DESIGN and DEVELOPMENT

comrade

Elena Betros
Clare Cooper
Asher Elazary
Nathan Gray
Jason Heller
Anabelle Lacroix
Paris Lettau
Sarah Mccauley
Dr James Parker
Mino Peric
Anatol Pitt
Jessica Row
Emily Siddons
Sezzo Snot
Beth Sometimes
Mathew Spisbah
Cara Stewart
Darcy Wedd
Makeda Zucco
Ece Yavuz

Contact

info@liquidarchitecture.org.au
FB, IG, YT, SC

PO Box 12315
Melbourne
VIC 8006
AUSTRALIA

LIQUID ARCHITECTURE SOUND INC
ABN 73128090237
ASN A0050679K

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Events
Eavesdropping
Tue, 24. Jul–Sun, 28. Oct 2018
The Ian Potter Museum of Art
Artists

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

"I despise anyone who says that art is about asking questions, and not providing answers. You hear that pretty much every day in our profession. Artists who repeat this statement think of this as a radical act. But what if art's radicality is actually about art being an engine for truth production? I'm not talking about the same forms of truth production in science or law, since science is totally different to law and each represents two different models for telling the truth. In forensics, science and law meet in some weird space. In art, you can borrow from the ways that science and law tell the truth in order to come up with the means by which art can also speak it."
'Lawrence Abu Hamdan in Conversation', Ocula 2018


Three works by Abu Hamdan feature in Eavesdropping.

1. Rubber Coated Steel

The video 'Rubber Coated Steel' follows an incident in May 2014, in which Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank (Palestine) shot and killed two teenagers, Nadeem Nawara and Mohamad Abu Daher. When Abu Hamdan worked with the human rights organisation Defence for Children International to investigate the incident, the resulting report – and especially Abu Hamdan’s audio-ballistic evidence – led to one soldier being indicted for manslaughter. 'Rubber Coated Steel' restages the report’s findings as a video tribunal, appropriating and extending the techniques of proof, reasoning and rhetoric more familiar to the courtroom, with the viewer in the position of juror. For all the work’s real power and persuasive force, recent events give it a more melancholy edge, a reminder of the politics of legality and the non-equation between law and justice. In 2017, Israeli prosecutors brokered a plea deal with Nadeem’s killer to the lesser charge of negligent killing. When this deal was subsequently upheld by the Israeli High Court of Justice on appeal, one news organisation was led to report, ‘even forensics can't stop Palestinian teen's killer walking free.’



2. Saydnaya (the missing 19db)

'Saydnaya (the missing 19db)' results from Abu Hamdan’s collaboration with Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture to produce an acoustic investigation into Saydnaya Military Prison, 30km North of Damascus, where an estimated 15,000 people have now been executed since 2011. The prison is inaccessible to independent observers and monitors, so the memory of those few who were released is the only resource available from which to learn of and document the violations taking place there. 'Saydnaya (the missing 19db)' focuses on the role of sound and silence both as evidence of the violence being enacted at Saydnaya and, as Abu Hamdan puts it, ‘a form of torture in and of itself’. More specifically, the work documents how the volume of inmates’ whispers became four times quieter after anti-government protests began in 2011. For Abu Hamdan, this 19-decibel drop in the capacity to speak stands as testament to the transformation of Saydnaya from a prison to a death camp. In these 19 decibels we can hear the disappearance of voice and the voice of the disappeared.



3. Conflicted Phonemes

In September 2012, Lawrence Abu Hamdan held a meeting in Utrecht to discuss ways of countering the controversial use of language analysis in determining the origin of asylum seekers and unjustly denying legitimate claims of asylum. In addition to the various linguists, researchers, activists and cultural organisations gathered, the group included twelve Somali people who had all been subjected to a language, dialect, or accent analysis by the Dutch immigration authorities and consequently had their asylum requests rejected. Together, the group created a series of non-geographic maps that explore the hybrid nature of accent, complicating its relation to one’s place of birth by also considering the social conditions and cultural exchange of those living such itinerant lives. It reads the way people speak about the volatile history and geography of Somalia over the last forty years as a product of continual migration and crisis. Its complexity is a testimony to the irreducibility of the voice to a passport and the poverty of law’s sonic imagination.

In light of this, 'Conflicted Phonemes' offers the rejected/silenced asylum seeker an alternative and nonvocal mode of contestation. As well as being exhibited in various galleries and refugee organisations around Europe, the diagrams were presented to a chief judge working within the Dutch immigration authority and submitted at a deportation hearing before the UK Asylum Tribunal. Similar language and accent tests continue to be used in Australia.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a British-Lebanese artist, researcher and audio-investigator associated with the London-based research agency Forensic Architecture. Since 2010, his work has consistently explored the techniques and politics of what he calls ‘forensic listening’: diverse listening practices associated primarily with legal forums and the technoscience of acoustic evidence.

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