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.
PO Box 12315
LIQUID ARCHITECTURE SOUND INC
Liquid Architecture (LA) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of personal information obtained and stored about its audience or clientele, including users of this website. We understand and appreciate that our audience or clientele and users of this website are concerned about their privacy and the confidentiality and security of any information that may be provided to us.
HOW PERSONAL INFORMATION IS COLLECTED
LA collects personal information in a variety of different ways depending on the type of contact that is made with the organisation. LA may also collect personal information over the phone, in person or by electronic correspondence in order to undertake its regular administrative operations.
The following are examples of how personal information may be collected by the organisation:
- Subscribing to LA’s e-newsletter via the website, in-person or other means
- Registering for LA’s programs of events (eg. performances, workshops, lectures)
- Purchasing a ticket for LA’s programs of events via a ticketing system
- Making an online enquiry
- Making an individual donation to LA
- Becoming a sponsor
- Submitting a proposal to LA
- Providing written feedback to LA
- If you become a LA Associate, Volunteer or Board Member
WHY PERSONAL INFORMATION IS COLLECTED
LA collects personal information in order to service the needs of its audience or clientele. All details are kept secure at all times and any individual may request their information is not used for direct marketing, research or any other purpose. If you opt-in to become a LA e-newsletter subscriber you are giving us permission to send you information about upcoming programs and services offered by LA and its partners and your details may be retained and used for the following purposes:
- To make recommendations to visitors about other services that LA offers that may be of interest
- Notifying changes of program details
- To market upcoming events
- For market research purposes
- To market online services
vFor such further and other lawful uses in connection with LA’s activities consistent with this Privacy Statement
DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
LA will not sell, lend, disclose, or give personal information of its audience or clientele to external individuals or organisations without first obtaining the customer’s consent, unless required by law. LA may, however, contact the audience on behalf of other organisations to offer information regarding their products. These organisations may include, but are not limited to other arts organisations or government departments.
KEEP PERSONAL INFORMATION ACCURATE
LA is committed to ensuring all personal information it collects is accurate, complete and up-to-date. However, the accuracy of this personal information to a large extent depends on the information provided by its clients. LA asks that all clients:
advise us if you become aware of any errors in your personal information.
advise of any changes in their personal details, such as address, email address and phone number.
The LA website contains links to other sites. LA is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites. LA encourages users when they leave the site to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personal information. This privacy statement applies solely to the activities of LA
ONLINE COLLECTION NON-PERSONAL INFORMATION
When you look at this website, our Internet Service Provider makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes only – the user’s server address, the user’s top level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au, etc), the date and time of the visit to the site, the pages accessed and documents downloaded, the previous site visited, and the type of browser used. No attempt is, or will be, made to identify users browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect activity logs.
DATA ACCESS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
"The material witness — an entity (object or unit) whose physical properties or technical configuration records evidence of passing events to which it can bear witness. Whether these events register as a by-product of an unintentional encounter or as an expression of direct action, history and by extension politics is registered at these junctures of ontological intensity. Moreover, in disclosing these encoded events, the material witness makes ‘evident’ the very conditions and practices that convert such eventful materials into matters of evidence."
Material Witness, (MIT Press, forthcoming)
Two works by Schuppli feature in Eavesdropping.
1. The Missing 18 1/2 Minutes
'The Missing 18 ½ Minutes' is the most recent iteration of a long-term investigation into Watergate. At some point during the evening of 20 June 1972, a conversation between two men was secretly taped on a SONY TC-800B reel-to-reel voice recorder. Tape 342, as it is officially referred to, is but one of a sprawling archive of approximately 3,700 hours of audio recordings taped surreptitiously by the late American President Richard Nixon over a period of several years. Of the many audiotapes confiscated from the Oval Office, Tape 342 remains by far the most infamous. Not because of the shocking information it contains, but precisely because of its absence: an 18-and-a-half minute gap that occurs at 6 hours, 21 minutes, and 26 seconds of recorded material. A residual silence that is still haunted by the spectre of a President who refused to speak on the grounds that such testimony might be self-incriminatory.
In 1973, Nixon’s loyal secretary Rose Mary Woods testified that she was responsible for this gap and told an elaborate story about how the telephone rang whilst she was transcribing the Tape causing her foot pedal controlled UHER tape recorder to accidentally press the wrong button and erase the tape. Her ‘re-enactment’ of this infamous event for the federal grand jury is captured in the photo mural shown here, which is more commonly referred to as the “Rose Mary Stretch”.
With the advent of digitisation, press bureaus started dumping their wire service images en masse. From these discarded images, Schuppli has collected all that relate to the legal proceedings of Watergate Tape 342 during which 18-and-a-half minutes of noisy silence was put on trial. These archival materials are re-presented here as a photographic timeline accompanied by an audio listening station where one can listen to the actual 18-and-a-half-minute gap in Watergate Tape 342, which has been sourced from the US National Archives and Records Administration.
While this installation addresses the emergence of wiretapping and state surveillance within the political context of the 1970s, specifically around the defining events of Watergate, it is also set against the backdrop of current events in which practices of data harvesting (e.g. Cambridge Analytica/Facebook) have become commonplace.
2. Listening to Answering Machines
'Listening to Answering Machines' explores a collection of recordings gathered by Schuppli from thrift stores and charity shops following the transition to digital-voicemail in the 1990s: each tape is an accidental archive encompassing details about both the person who owned the machine, and all the people who reached out to them by leaving their messages behind. No doubt they never considered that their shared sonic intimacies might one day be sold off as mere detritus (the dead technological remains of domestic life), let alone imagine that their incoming messages and conversational fragments might make their way into the hands of others. Entire worlds and personal portraits are captured by the network of calls and messages left behind on such tapes. 'Listening to Answering Machines' invites us to explore these worlds and in doing so queries the transgression that listening to the sonic intimacies of strangers might provoke at a time when this form of listening has been scaled-up and routinised by always-on smartphones and other devices designed by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations.
Susan Schuppli is a Canadian artist, researcher and audio-investigator currently associated with the London-based research agency Forensic Architecture. Over the last twenty years, Schuppli has returned again and again to the theme of eavesdropping, with a particular concern for the material history and politics of audio-tape and the telephone.