Active since 2000, Liquid Architecture is a Naarm (Melbourne) based organisation supporting experimental, interdisciplinary and critical work addressing sound and listening in context.
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 the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung as the Traditional Owners and sovereign custodians of the Country on which we practice. We extend our respects to their Elders past and present, and to all First Peoples.
NARETHA WILLIAMS (INTERIM CO-CHAIR) is an accomplished practitioner in the Australian creative industries sector. An established artist and music producer, she is a seasoned industry professional with extensive experience across a dynamic range of appointments. Naretha has worked with leading Australian companies and First Nations initiatives, flagship festivals and events, has toured internationally and won several awards. Credits include: St Kilda Festival, Bless Your Blak Arts Festival, Australasian World Music Expo, International Symposium on Electronic Art, Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival, Science Gallery London, Chunky Move, Performance Space New York, The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ, Sydney Myer Music Bowl, Sydney Dance Company, and Melbourne’s Flash Forward.
DANNY BUTT (INTERIM CO-CHAIR) is Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Practice at Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where he is also Graduate Research Convenor for Design and Social Practice. His book Artistic Research in the Future Academy was published by Intellect/University of Chicago Press in 2017, and he is on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Artistic Research.
ANDY MILLER (DIRECTOR) 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.
MARK NOLEN (TREASURER) is a Certified Practising Accountant with extensive experience in the creative industries sector. He is currently Management Accountant at ACMI, 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 Scotch whisky, soaking up some even finer tunes.
LEANA PAPAELIA (SECRETARY) is a barrister at the Victorian Bar and a soprano. At the Bar, Leana practices in commercial and public law with a focus on banking and financial services regulation, corporations and securities, insolvency, trade practices and human rights. Leana holds an AMusA and a BMus (Hons) majoring in vocal performance. She received a university scholarship to complete her honours and, in her final year of study, was awarded the Horace Keats Memorial Prize for Excellence in Vocal Performance. Leana currently studies under the direction of Loris Synan OAM. Leana is a board member of the Australian Contemporary Opera Company and has held board positions with Lawyers for Animals, an organisation dedicated to improving the welfare of animals through education and law, and Right Now, an independent not-for-profit mediation organisation focusing on human rights issues in Australia.
NAOMI VELAPHI (DIRECTOR) is an arts producer born on Whadjuk Noongar country, residing in Naarm (Melbourne). She strives to nurture artists’ work and practices exploring alternative narratives, radical thought and deep connection. Centred on producing the work of contemporary, diverse, and interdisciplinary artists her experience spans working for and amongst galleries, festivals, and performance spaces. Naomi has over ten 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 Senior Producer at Next Wave and has also held producing roles for a number of arts institutions including APAM, Arts House, The Abbotsford Convent, and Koorie Heritage Trust. Through her independent practice she aims to unearth honest and generous collaborations between artists, producers, curators, and presenters and create pathways for new work creation. Her curatorial interests are derived through her experiences as a woman of african and asian identities and the communities she represents. She holds a Masters of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne and is a part of the Australia Council Arts Leadership Program 2020.
DAVID CHESWORTH (DIRECTOR) 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, David 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, Biennale of Sydney; 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, Melbourne. David is a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University, Melbourne, researching auditory archives.
CAT HOPE (DIRECTOR) is a researcher, composer, performer, songwriter, and noise artist. She is a flautist and experimental bassist who plays as a soloist and as part of other groups. She is the director of and performer in Decibel: a group focused on Australian repertoire, the nexus of electronic and acoustic instruments and graphic score realisations. In 2011 and 2014, Cat won the APRA|AMC Award for Excellence in Experimental Music, and for 2014 she was resident at the Peggy Glanville Hicks composers house, and is a Civitella Ranieri and Churchill Fellow. She is co-author of Digital Art – An Introduction to New Media (Bloomsbury) and Professor of Music at Monash University.
MONICA LIM (DIRECTOR) is a Melbourne-based pianist and composer of classical contemporary and experimental music. Born in Malaysia and then migrating to Australia in her teens, Monica initially practiced as a Tax Consultant for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, before pursuing her own interests in business and the arts. She has produced work for theatre, contemporary dance, installations, and film, as well as solo and ensemble instrumental pieces. She is interested in new cross-disciplinary genres and forms as well as combinations of new technology with music. Monica is currently undertaking a PhD at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne in interactive technology, AI and gesture-led composition. Monica is co-founder of Project Eleven, a philanthropic initiative which supports the contemporary arts and serves on the boards of the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Substation and Liquid Architecture as well as the Member’s Council for Musica Viva.
Georgia Hutchison (Executive Director, CEO)
Debris Facility (Creative Producer)
Rohan Rebeiro (Creative Producer)
Liang Luscombe (Editor)
Mara Schwerdtfeger (Digital Producer)
Casey (Nicholls-Bull) Jones (Digital Producer)
We welcome conversation, ideas and feedback at any time.
104/35 Johnston Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
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.
This policy applies when Liquid Architecture determines what information will be collected or disclosed, or how any information will be processed.
We take a broad understanding of what constitutes ‘personal information’. We understand ‘personal information’ to include any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.
Liquid Architecture is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act and is compliant with the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012.
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The type of information Liquid Architecture collects and holds includes (but is not limited to) personal information, including sensitive information, about:
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LA collects personal information in a variety of different ways depending on the type of contact that is made with the organisation. We collect personal information both from individuals directly and from third parties.
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LA collects personal information in order to service the needs of its staff, audience and partnerships. This information is only used with your consent. Your personal information may be retained and used for the following purposes:
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GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR)
LA operates occasional European artistic programming and partnerships, and complies with the data protection policies required by the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) since 25 May 2018.
OUR DATA SECURITY POLICY
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Negative Volumes: Danger Magic
Matthew P. Hopkins
Geoffrey Gartner performs Dick Higgins’ Danger Music
There are still magic words. Words of invocation and words of exhortation: words that entice, words that summon, words that compel, words that wound. There are taboo words whose unspeakability must be regularly renewed to ensure it has not decomposed. There are words beyond sense that brim with meaning. There are ways of saying words that can invest them – even the most banal of utterances – with puzzling force. And, there are rituals of bodily complicity right at the level of the sign (try saying “curse” without snarling, or “hex” without hissing).
Before the words, there is the voice (The good voice. The bad voice. Your voice). My voice, issuing from me as it speaks me, doubling back to be heard by me – both me and always beyond me. When we lose the voice and set it upon words, we make a space for listening, between the deed and the intention: a place that’s dangerous, where sound might smuggle itself in.
Negative spaces are never blank. Just as there is no space around objects, only objects in space, there is no gap between sounds, since there is no possibility of silence. Instead what we hear is the noise of the layers, the various shades and feints and foley and interstitial emissions that, stitched together, produce the reassuring throb of frequencies we are schooled to call “background”.
Similarly. A strobe light appears to come on and off, but what we see as light and dark made large, a perfect example of pure black and white, is not in fact discrete. What seems to be simply ‘on’ and ‘off’ is not a dyad. Rather, a strobe is a string, a set, a sequence of pulses giving way to each other: a swelling, an exploding, a fading and then a darkness, until the new swell lights up again. Despite appearances, despite conventional thinking, this is not binary.
In this program, there’s no figure and no ground. There is no negative space. An empty institution is never completely empty. Instead, it becomes a spatial politic for the throwing of light and shade.
In sound, how we structure sonic experience can provide models for how we structure community.
We invite a queering of the spatial politics of the invisible and visible, of the notions of audible and inaudible – a questioning of the question of the one or the other – in order to enter the space opened up by this voluminous negation.
The world is fucked. But, the gallery is empty. What will we do now?
From Hobart, Andrew’s art works with the occult and with money, which he feels are much the same thing.
LA: Do you intend to cast a spell on us?
AH: “Babel (Azathoth) is a live working of found and hoarded elements (cassette recordings and outdated technology) that is hoped to reflect the disquiet and horror of the artist/performer at the temper of the times, and send a sonic ripple back to the makers of this horror: the present government of Australia (such as it is) and the forces further afield.”
Melbourne-based artist Sarah Byrne is interested in the cross-pollination of video, voice and performative practice. Sarah is re-examining the everyday object of the list, to hear how what are meant to be reassuring, organising devices can become threatening, overwhelming or unintelligible when subjected to the deconstructive pressure of the voice.
LA: Are you a crosser or a ticker?
SB: I’m a crosser
I like that strong slashing motion
I prefer crossing something off the list than that little upward flick
I like the cross, it’s a cut, it’s a violence, it’s definitive
I think that’s an aggressive act and that’s why I like it.
Emma Ramsay is a Sydney practitioner whose work considers sound in various engagements with human and other communication. Emma will create a situation for listening to our expectations about different states of matter and luminous low-vis.
LA: How do you you hear smoke and fog?
ER: “In pursuit of a value judgement, perhaps a preference for artificial smoke, haze or fog – both operate differently atmospherically, and yet are interchangeable in theatrical impact. The behaviour of each as vapour is specific, yet the atomisation process is similar for both. Smoke appears during & endures beyond and marks the disaster or burn-off. Metaphors mobilise ‘smoke’, ‘haze’ and ‘fog’ in very specific ways and can wriggle from distinct placement to exchangeable depending on context. If you’re hearing anything, it’s particulate.”
Dick Higgins, Danger Music No. 2, Performance at Fluxus
Internationale Festspiele Neuester Musik,
Geoffrey Gartner is a performer, musicologist and long-time devotee of the Fluxus ethos. He will perform a selection of works from the Danger Music series by Fluxus doyenne, Dick Higgins.
LA: What makes Danger Music dangerous and what makes it music?
GG: “Dick Higgins’ forty-three_ Danger Music pieces are part of an anthology of text scores entitled The Danger of Lecturing at Concerts. _Theyappear in his 1969 book, foew&aombwhnw: a grammar of the mind and a phenomenology of love and a science of the arts as seen by a stalker of the wild mushroom. These works date from the early 1960s, a time when Fluxists were challenging the ingrained notion that music had to be a purely sonic experience. They wanted their music to invoke a multi-sensory response and text provided the perfect notational medium.
Always irreverent, Higgins’ sparsely worded scores are frequently ambiguous and open to interpretation – one of the reasons they are so liberating to perform! At the same time, they pose formidable conceptual challenges to performer and audience. In the Danger Music series boundaries are erased; comfort zones obliterated. Danger abounds…”
Matthew P. Hopkins
Sydney-based Matthew P. Hopkins is an artist and musician.
LA: How do you throw the voice?
MPH: “A prepared collage of processed empty cassette tape recordings is improvised upon using a microphone with ring modulator effect. An improvised phrase is developed in real-time via mumbling and murmuring, via the bringing forth of internal mental babble and shaping it into words that ‘make sense’ somehow.
As this phrase takes shape and forms into something that resonates as ‘right,’ two other actions begin: firstly, using the microphone the phrase is traced in the air in front of the speakers so as to cause feedback sounds; and secondly, the phrase is inscribed on a piece of paper using the microphone as writing instrument. The voice, air tracing and inscribing repeat at intervals throughout the performance along with the constant sound of the tape collage. All these sounds are processed live in real-time. This acts as a kind of electronic writing, or electronic inscription via the three different modes of inscribing.
The work is less about automatic writing in the traditional mediumistic/esoteric sense, and is more an act of auto-ventriloquy in the sense that I am attempting to engage directly with inner voice and let it come out. This inner speech is not talking through me so much as it is talking with me.”
Formerly from the Gold Coast and now based in Sydney, Mariam Arcilla is a writer and producer with a fever for multi-sensorial affairs. She will be concocting an alchemic tonic that responds to the aftertaste of vowels, voids, and volumes.
LA: How do you make turmeric scream?
MA: It comes down to water fluency and temperature. For tea, boil the rhizomatic stem in a pot with ginger, cinnamon and lemon, and you get this yodeling whale call. Mingle turmeric powder with peppermint oil, coconut oil and baking soda for a frictioned toothpaste that hisses and fizzes. To exfoliate the face, mash turmeric powder, chickpea flour, honey and milk; form it into a voluminous, goopy cake that will ‘glow’ the skin but stain everything else it touches (as a result, it’s the person who will scream). Messy thing, this turmeric business.
Babel (Azathoth) is a live working of found and hoarded elements (cassette recordings and outdated technology) that is hoped to reflect the disquiet and horror of the artist/performer at the temper of the times, and send a sonic ripple back to the makers of this horror: the present government of Australia (such as it is) and the forces further afield.
various engagements with human and other communication
‘Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream!’