Liquid Architecture

Investigations: Eavesdropping Polythinking Ritual Community Music Why Listen?
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For the past 20 years, Liquid Architecture has been Australia’s leading organisation for artists working with sound and listening. 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 sovereign owners of the country where we live and work, and recognise that sovereignty has not been ceded. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

staff

Georgia Hutchison
DIRECTION

GEORGIA HUTCHISON is a cultural development practitioner and arts executive in Naarm/Melbourne, working with Liquid Architecture since 2017. Her practice as an artist, educator, organiser and strategist crosses contemporary art, music, design and social justice. Previous to LA’s prolific international program, she has independently worked with partners including Asialink Arts, National Association for the Visual Arts, MONA, RMIT University, U-P, Molonglo Group.
Joel Stern
CURATION

JOEL STERN is a curator, researcher, and artist living and working on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Australia. Stern’s work deals with a range of issues, themes and questions connected with theories and practises of sound and listening. Interests include: sound, power and control; covert listening and panacoustic surveillance; polyphony as social practice; experimental music and community ritual; speech, voice, subjectivity; eavesdropping and ventriloquism; techno-politics of machine listening; rhetorics of nonsense and bullshit; pandemic soundscapes; acoustic justice; silence as testimony; post, trans, and non-human listening. Since 2013, Stern has been Artistic Director at Liquid Archi­tec­ture, a leading Aus­tralian organ­i­sa­tion that creates spaces for sonic expe­ri­ence and crit­i­cal listening at the inter­sec­tion of con­tem­po­rary art and exper­i­men­tal music. In this capacity he has been responsible for hundreds of festivals, symposia, exhibitions, concerts and publications realised in Australia and internationally, with collaborators ranging from major museums and institutions through to community organisations and artist-led initiatives. In addition to Liquid Architecture, Stern has led numerous independent organisations including: Oth­er­Film, a col­lec­tive working with artists moving image and the legacy of avant-garde cinema; and Instrument Builders Project, a workshop, residency, exhibition series featuring artists, musicians and craftspeople from across Australia and Asia. In 2018, with critical legal scholar James Parker, Stern curated Eavesdropping, an expansive project connecting Liquid Archi­tec­ture, Mel­bourne Law School, Ian Potter Museum of Art, and City Gallery Wellington, which comprised exhis­bi­tions, public pro­grams, work­ing groups, tour­s, and a publication, addressing the ‘pol­i­tics of lis­ten­ing’ through work by artists, researchers, writ­ers, detainees and activists from Aus­tralia and around the world. Stern’s PhD thesis ‘Eavesdropping: The Politics, Ethics, and Art of Listening’ was completed through the Cura­to­r­ial Prac­tice program at Monash University, where he also teaches on sonic art.
Debris Facility
EDUCATION

DEBRIS FACILITY PTY LTD is a queer Corporate Entity which entangles itself with Bodies, Complicating their Borders with Haptic Interfaces. Wearables act as Extensions to broader installation practices, and move Parasitically with their Hosts through Differing Terrains. The Transmutation of Industrial Materials into Situations, Installations and jewellery Implicates our Consumption within global Supply Chains, highlighting Transitory processes and Exchanges.
Alisa Blakeney
PRODUCTION

ALISA BLAKENEY is a curator from Western Australia. She has presented exhibitions and projects at Taipei Artist Village, Stedelijk Museum, De Appel, Tate Modern, Goldsmiths, Paper Mountain, and Bunbury Regional Art Gallery.

comrade

Danni Zuvela
RESEARCH
Mathew Spisbah
CONCERTS
Autumn Royal
EDITOR
Edward Beaver
Elena Betros
Clare Cooper
Asher Elazary
Nathan Gray
Jason Heller
Anabelle Lacroix
Paris Lettau
Sarah McCauley
Petina McLaughlin
Dr James Parker
Mino Peric
Anatol Pitt
Jessica Row
Emily Siddons
Sezzo Snot
Beth Sometimes
Cara Stewart
Darcy Wedd
Makeda Zucco
Ece Yavuz
Henry Pyne
Hannah Wu
Mara Schwerdtfeger

board

Jennifer Barry
CHAIR
JENNIFER BARRY is a creative professional with over 25 years' experience leading arts organisations, managing creative projects, devising public programs, and producing the work of artists, nationally and internationally. She has held a range of leadership positions including Footscray Community Arts Centre (Director/CEO), Shunpike (Executive Director /USA), Chunky Move (Executive Producer/Co-CEO), Federation Square (Manager, Public Programs), the Australian Institute of Arts Management (Executive Director), and the Arts Management Advisory Group of Victoria (Executive Director). As a consultant and project manager, she has worked with all levels of government, and numerous organisations, undertaking strategic planning, conducting stakeholder engagement, and managing business development initiatives. Clients have included the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria (now Creative Victoria), the City of Melbourne, the Australian Art Orchestra, the Australian Network for Art and Technology, and the Royal Children's Hospital, among many others. Jennifer has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and advisory committees.
Naomi Velaphi
VICE CHAIR
NAOMI VELAPHI is an arts producer and programmer interested in contemporary, interdisciplinary arts practice. She is currently the Program Producer for the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) and also has an independent practice with a strong commitment to working with culturally diverse artists. She has held producing roles both independently and for a number of arts institutions including Arts Centre Melbourne, Arts House, Koorie Heritage Trust and the Abbotsford Convent. Naomi has over 10 years of experience in the industry and has worked across all facets of arts production including, curation, funding and budget management and audience development. She is currently a part of the Australia Council Arts Leadership Program, holds a Masters of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from Curtin University.
Kristen Smith
SECRETARY
KRISTEN SMITH is a non-practicing lawyer 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, Omni Bridgeway, 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 Vice President of the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) board.
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.
David Chesworth
BOARD 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), and ‘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.
Hannah Fox
BOARD MEMBER
HANNAH FOX is an artist, curator and creative producer working in the fields of sound, public art, contemporary music and live art. She founded creative partnership Supple Fox, delivered four years of programs as Artistic Associate for Contemporary Music at Melbourne Festival, and was Associate Creative Director of Mona’s winter festival Dark Mofo. In July 2019, along with Gideon Obarzanek, Hannah was appointed as Director and joint CEO of Rising – the newly remodelled and launched festival for Melbourne. Her tenure extends from 2020 till 2023. In parallel to her curatorial endeavours, Hannah has ventured into developing her own artistic practice in collaboration with artist Byron J Scullin and Thomas Supple. In June 2017, the group presented Siren Song: a large-scale, outdoor sonic artwork that fills the skies of a city, which continues to be remounted in cities around the world.
Michael Graeve
BOARD MEMBER
MICHAEL GRAEVE is a Castlemaine-based visual and sound artist. Working from easel painting through installation to sound performance, he engages painting and sound art practices in dialogue, extending frameworks for their creation and reading, and creating oscillations of conjunctive and disjunctive relations. He exhibits and performs internationally and has held over 25 solo exhibitions. His work has been reviewed in Artforum International, Eyeline, Real Time and Art/Text as well as in books by Ros Bandt and Caleb Kelly. He is a senior lecturer at RMIT University and holds a PhD. He was a Samstag scholar studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has been awarded residencies in Vienna and New York. Michael has been a board member of Liquid Architecture Sound Inc since 2007, and was previously a board member and program manager at West Space Inc and a founding committee member of Grey Area Art Space Inc.
Monica Lim
BOARD MEMBER
MONICA LIM oversees Fame Agenda, a casual women’s retail brand with presence in various department stores in Indonesia. With her husband, Konfir Kabo, she runs a portfolio of fuel retail sites across Australia, and is co-founder of Project Eleven: a philanthropic initiative supporting contemporary art projects with a focus on new commissions and cross-cultural projects. She previously practiced as a Tax Consultant at HLB Mann Judd and as Tax Manager at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu between 2000-2006. Monica is a classical pianist with an interest in experimental and multidisciplinary forms of expression, and is completing her degree in Interactive Composition at the University of Melbourne. She has produced work for White Night, Melbourne Fringe and Arts Centre Melbourne and is working on projects for Arts House, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Ensemble Offspring and Ars Musica, Brussels. She currently sits on the Events Committee for the Melbourne Recital Centre. She has two sons, aged 14 and 16.
Andy Miller
BOARD 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.

technical

Atong Atem
PHOTOGRAPHY
Martina Capurso
VIDEO
Bridget Chappell
SOUND
Charlie Freedman
VIDEO
Keelan O’Hehir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Paul Mylecharane and Matt Lenz (Public Office)
DESIGN
Benjamin Portas
MOTION
Jacqui Shelton
PHOTOGRAPHY
Lauren Squire
SOUND

Contact

We welcome conversation, ideas and feedback at any time.

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

104/35 Johnston Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
AUSTRALIA

LIQUID ARCHITECTURE
SOUND INC
ABN 73128090237
ASN A0050679K

Privacy Statement

Privacy Statement

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Events

Eavesdropping

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

Manus Recording Project Collective: Farhad Bandesh, Farhad Rahmati, Samad Abdul, Shamin­dan Kana­p­athi, Thanush Selvraj, Yasin Abdallah, Abdul Aziz Muhamat, Behrouz Boochani, Kazem Kazemi, Michael Green, André Dao, Jon Tjhia

LISTEN TO THE MANUS RECORDING PROJECT COLLECTIVE

HOW ARE YOU TODAY

Since 2013, nearly two thou­sand men have been indef­i­nitely detained on Manus Island, PNG, by the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment – after arriv­ing in this coun­try seek­ing asylum. When the Manus Regional Pro­cess­ing Centre was for­mally closed on 31 Octo­ber 2017, after the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court declared it uncon­sti­tu­tional, the men still detained there were ordered to relo­cate to new, smaller deten­tion cen­ters in Loren­gau, the major town on Manus. The author­i­ties elim­i­nated pro­vi­sions and removed the diesel gen­er­a­tors pow­er­ing the facil­ity, but the men refused to leave: the cul­mi­na­tion of years of organ­ised resis­tance against their invol­un­tary and indef­i­nite deten­tion. Even­tu­ally, they were force­fully evicted.

Since 24 July 2018, six men – Farhad Bandesh, Behrouz Boochani, Samad Abdul, Shamindan Kanapathi, Kazem Kazemi and Abdul Aziz Muhamat – have been sending daily ten minute audio recordings to The Ian Potter Museum of Art from Manus Island, where they have been detained by the Australian government for the last five years. The recordings are then played back in the gallery throughout the day. This continued until 28 October 2018 at the end of which 14 hours of sound was produced, in effect, an archive of what it sounds like to live in limbo.

how are you today opens a chan­nel for a form of speech at a moment when words seem to have been exhausted. It is at once an extremely inti­mate work – a rare oppor­tu­nity to listen to these men lis­ten­ing, only very recently, some four thou­sand kilo­me­tres away – and a highly polit­i­cal one. It intro­duces the Manus sound­scape to the gallery not just for the sake of the sounds-in-them­selves, not just as a matter of curios­ity (though the work will surely pro­duce an archive of real his­tor­i­cal value), but in a way that directly impli­cates the lis­tener and demands that we attend to the politico-legal con­texts that pro­duce and frame them.

WHERE ARE YOU TODAY

Every day for a month, beginning on 1 August, you’ll receive a text message with a new ten-minute audio recording from Farhad Bandesh, Farhad Rahmati, Samad Abdul, Shamindan Kanapathi, Thanush Selvraj or Yasin Abdallah.

Subscribe by texting ‘Hello’ to +61 488 845 951

These men, seeking asylum by boat, were forcibly transferred to Manus Island by the Australian government nearly seven years ago. Now, they are held in hotels or detention centres in Port Moresby, Melbourne or Brisbane.

‘For this recording, of course, there will be people who find it boring, and they won’t want to listen. But there are many people here, who just sit down and try to understand. They close their eyes, just to imagine the people in Manus, and try to make a connection with the men, in Manus. And that’s why I think this work is very interesting … it takes the audience inside the prison camp, just to live with them for a while. To witness their lives. Another thing really that is very important, is that this system treats us in a way where we do not exist. But we do exist. Sometimes we exist in Australia, through these artworks, you know. That part is very surreal. That is the important thing about this work. That it allows us to say: here we are.’

Behrouz Boochani, in conversation
with André Dao about how are you today,
3 December 2019.

[8:36 pm, 16/11/2019] Michael Green:
How are things in the hotel?
[7:01 pm, 17/11/2019] Yasin Abdallah:
Still waiting …

How does this work?

As a subscriber of where are you today, you’ll receive a daily text message containing a link to each day’s ten-minute recording. The site will display some additional information: the number of kilometres between you and the person who made the recording, and the number of minutes, hours, or days that have elapsed since the recording* was made.

BIOGRAPHIES

FARHAD BANDESH is a 38-year-old Kurdish musician, painter and poet who was detained on Manus Island for six years, and now for more than a year in the Mantra Hotel and Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA). Before seeking asylum, he worked as a guitar maker. He has no formal art training; whilst in detention, he has produced solo and collaborative works of music, art and writing. He loves nature and is a keen gardener; his sisters now look after his plants.

FARHAD RAHMATI is 42 years old. He is a civil engineer from Khorramabad City in Iran. He was forcibly sent to Manus Island in 2013 and then evacuated to Australia in 2019 to be treated for a heart condition he developed in PNG. He was held at Kangaroo Point Central Hotel for eight months, where, from his balcony, he watched people walking their dogs on the outside. In June, he was moved to Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA).

SAMAD ABDUL was detained in an Aus­tralian run off­shore deten­tion centre on Manus for five years. For the last two years he has been in Port Moresby, where he is still not free. He loves cricket and his only dream was to be a pro­fes­sional crick­eter but politi­cians have taken his dream and used him as a polit­i­cal pris­oner. Although his seven years will not come back, he now wants to be a social worker to help those who are in pain.

SHAMIN­DAN KANA­P­ATHI is a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee. In Sri Lanka he was a mar­ket­ing exec­u­tive and a stu­dent. He was detained on Manus Island for six years and is now held in Port Moresby.

THANUSH SELVRAJ is a 32-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil refugee who fled persecution. In Sri Lanka he was a painter, artist, hairdresser, phone and computer repairer, photo and video editor and a student. He was detained on Manus Island before being transferred to Port Moresby hotel detention. From PNG he was transferred to the Mantra Hotel in Preston, Melbourne. He is currently being held in MITA with no hope of his freedom.

YASIN ABDALLAH is a 24-year-old man from Darfur, Sudan, from the Zaghawa ethnicity. He arrived in Australia by boat in 2013 and was taken to Manus Island. He has been detained in Mantra Hotel in Preston, Melbourne, for one year. When he was a teenager in Sudan, he used to fix cars with his uncle. He wants to be a mechanical engineer.

ANDRÉ DAO is a writer of fic­tion and non-fic­tion. He is the co-founder of Behind the Wire, an oral his­tory project doc­u­ment­ing people’s expe­ri­ence of immi­gra­tion deten­tion.

JON TJHIA is a radio-maker, artist and writer. As the Wheeler Centre’s senior dig­i­tal editor, he col­lab­o­ra­ted with Behind the Wire to pro­duce The Mes­sen­ger. He’s a co-founder of Paper Radio and the Aus­tralian Audio Guide.

MICHAEL GREEN is a writer, radio-maker and pro­ducer. He was the host of The Mes­sen­ger pod­cast, which won the 2017 Walk­ley Award for Radio/​Audio fea­ture. He trav­elled to Manus Island twice.

Two members of the Manus Recording Project Collective, who made recordings for how are you today (2018), are no longer detained by the Australian government. ABDUL AZIZ MUHAMAT is now in Geneva, where he was granted asylum by the Swiss Government. BEHROUZ BOOCHANI is now in Christchurch, New Zealand. A third member of the collective, KAZEM KAZEMI, is still being detained at Kangaroo Point Central Hotel in Brisbane. Kazem decided not to make recordings for where are you today.

Archive

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