Liquid Architecture

Investigations: Eavesdropping Polythinking Ritual Community Music Why Listen?
Help Support LA
(close)
Info

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

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

Privacy Statement

Privacy Statement

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.

WEBSITE

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 provision of all personal information is voluntary, but if that information is not provided LA may not be able to provide its clients with the products or services requested. LA reserves the right to change its Privacy Policy at any time. At any time LA clientele have the right to access, change or correct their personal information or the organisation’s privacy practices. To make a request or inquiry write to info@liquidarchitecture.org.au

Events

Entering Tone: Liquid Architecture in Taiwan

Entering Tone opens a space where shifting meanings are embedded in a sound.
Tainan, Taichung, Taipei
(Ritual Community Music)

This is our organisation’s second visit to Taiwan. Our first, in 2016, was a vastly informative research trip. In that trip, through meeting artists, musicians, curators and organisers in Taipei, Tainan and Taichung, we learned much – and also learned how little we knew.

In 2017, we attempt to apply an open, experimental methodology to the practice of international touring – establishing deeper collaborations between our 5 artists and our Taiwanese colleagues; extending and embedding our engagement locally with pedagogy as well as affect; rejecting the distinction between thinking and making; and generating formal and informal opportunities for interventions in social space. Above all, we are “making listening”, as much as we are “making sound”, as we seek to enhance our capacity to perceive subtle tonalities – even if we do not fully understand them – as we tour Taiwan together.

entering tone

Most Western languages, including English, are atonal. This is not to say that English does not have tones – schematics for different emphases of pitch – but rather that, in English, tonality is not a defining characteristic of the pronunciation of each word.  Spoken Chinese, on the other hand, cannot not be tonal (or, be monotonal), since the pronunciation of each syllable is fundamental to the production of meaning when the language is spoken.

The ‘entering tone’ is one of the four major tones of spoken Chinese dialects. Having disappeared from mainland Mandarin, it is one of the distinctive markers of the Taiwanese language. Not a phonetic tone in the sense of pitch relationships, the entering tone denotes a syllable that ends with a glottal stop, the occlusion of airflow in the vocal tract.

The symbol of the glottal stop in the International Phonetic Alphabet. Source: Wikipedia

To English-speaking mouths and English-hearing ears, the entering tone’s plosive stop is, generally, so unfamiliar and so rare as to be eventful; perhaps this is even coded into the mock-gulp of its widely used example of the glottal stop in the English usage, the foreboding exclamation, ‘uh-oh’.

We choose to title our tour Entering Tone because it offers us a way of thinking not about sound, but with sound. For what we are hearing, in the rapid, controlled closure of the throat that produces this tone, is the sound of the sudden shutting off of sound. The throat closes, but the entering tone opens a space where shifting meanings are embedded in a sound.

It is a sonic object that is also a critical absence. With its multiple identity as political actor, strange interjector and silent presenter, the entering tone for us represents a small but vibrant space for engaged listening.

This is Liquid Architecture’s second visit to Taiwan. Our first, in 2016, was a vastly informative research trip. In the course of that visit, meeting artists, musicians, curators and organisers in Taipei, Tainan and Taichung, we learned much – and also learned how little we knew. Through that experience, ongoing conversations, dialogue, and research, and by placing our own assumptions and actions under examination, we have come to view our own position with greater circumspection. The occasion of this major international tour provides us with both cause and opportunity to reflect on the deeper context for our artistic activities, and question the structures within which we, as curators and artists, are positioned and which frame – which is not to say determine – our motivations and actions.

For example, on our first trip to Taiwan, we were initially slightly taken aback by hearing ourselves described as Westerners. The reason for our surprise, we came to realise, is that discourses of ‘East’ and ‘West’ are rarely heard today in Australia, by radicals, at least (unlike another term we heard a lot in Taiwan, ‘‘foreigner’, which is more commonly used in Australia). The differences in usage gave us cause for reflection. Might this be due to the historic centrality of these terms in the historic measurement of relative proximity – or otherwise – to the ‘centre’ of Western Europe, and the continued necessity of the project of repudiating the legitimacy of this imperial dynamic and its legacy in Australia’s history of violent settler colonialism?

Our expanded capacity to grasp and appreciate the ongoing relevance of the designation ‘Western’ for us, as Australians, coming to Taiwan, stems from our experiences in Taiwan in 2016. From our dialogue with Taiwanese artists and thinkers that flowed from that first contact, particularly the conversations with Hong-Kai Wang, we came to understand something of the significance and currency of this designation for non-Westerners, and appreciate the impact its foregrounding in the discourses of de-imperialisation and subaltern studies. To counter complacency about the East-West relationship, a certain openness of attitude is required. We realise that a preparedness to acknowledge and revise long-held preconceptions, to allow ourselves to be genuinely changed by our experiences with non-Western people – in short, a willingness to listen and to learn – must continue to accompany us on tour, as it did during the research trip.

This is the first international tour organised and generated by Liquid Architecture. The considerable privilege of being an experimental organisation able to tour multiple artists internationally comes with the responsibility to recognise that privilege, and a duty, in exercising it, to explore and identify practical alternatives to the well-worked formulae generated by neoliberal agendas globally, as they ‘trickle down’ to forms of cultural expression.

The international tour – that mainstay of experimental and conventional music practice alike – is, as a form, not unproblematic. What is normally foreclosed by the act of touring? What else might a tour, as a concatenation of events planned and unplanned, allow?

In its usual form – a string of appearances separated and defined by time and geography – the tour is a series of fleeting engagements. The logistics of scheduling dictate a tight window for engagement with each city, often limited to the recruitment of local support acts. Furthermore, the tour itself is based on a presupposition that the work is inherently worth listening to, a presumption which serves to compound the colonialist echoes which would inhere in any incoming venture consisting of a one-way, top-down dispatch of predominantly white – Western – culture.

The consideration we have given these matters has helped give shape to Liquid Architecture’s 2017 tour.

To mitigate the insubstantiality of the tour form, and attempt to generate opportunities for social solidarity with communities in Taiwan, the tour proceeds from two strategies devised to embed our practice locally. The first is the extension of the tour format to encompass a social program between our artists and Taiwanese counterparts which precedes our formal tour, and whose aim is to establish conditions conducive to mutual discovery and respectful collaboration.

The second is the equal importance given to discursive, critical and pedagogical activities as to live performances throughout the Entering Tone artistic program. These activities include the Symposium at the Taiwan National Museum of Art (November 24); the Social Sound Houses in Tainan (November 26) and Taipei (November 29); and the Political Listening talk in Taipei, which together offer a kind of alternative curricula, in the form of the affective pedagogy of workshops, talks, and sharing social space. From formal discursive platforms to free-wheeling interventions, these events are aimed at the possibility of constructing social solidarity via exchange and collective listening.

We have attempted to collaborate on every aspect of this tour, from the fluid and dynamic collaborative decision-making process of the co-curation of the artistic program for each event, to establishing flows of discussion between artists, to the program catalogue you are holding in your hands right now (or, post-facto, reading online). Our idea of active listening has necessitated, wherever and however possible, the amplification of Taiwanese voices, in the language of their choice.

We haven’t been able to get beyond or resolve the issues of the tour format as a string of brief interactions predicated on too-short, resource-limited engagements – and we were not, in fact, able to collaborate on everything. The Australian artists, for logistical reasons, were curated long ago, leaving little room for Taiwanese input on our choice of cohort. We chose our artists carefully to reflect the depth, heterogeneity and talent of Australian contemporary sound art practice – but in so doing, we did forfeit the chance for full co-authorship, which remains a hoped-for possibility for the future.

What we have done instead, we hope, is bring together what we believe to be a the most vital curated cross-section of contemporary Australian sound and listening practice. Andrew McLellan, Clare Cooper, Jannah Quill, Nathan Gray and Rainbow Chan represent some of the most interesting critical artists working in sound in Australia today, and their multiple talents enable us to collectively create the richest possible conditions for dialogue and listening into which to invite the Taiwanese audience.

*

Liquid Architecture’s interest in Taiwan was sparked, in part, by an article we encountered, in 2013, about Hong-Kai Wang’s critical listening practice. We invited Hong-Kai to Australia in 2014, where the residency she undertook underscored for us the importance of being together in the space of cultural production. Our continued dialogue and friendship with Hong-Kai led to her generous facilitation of our research in Taipei in 2016, and we are grateful for the many connections, and many more rigorous conversations provided so generously by Hong-Kai, and honoured by Hong-Kai’s acceptance of our offer to open our Practising Sound, Individually and Collectively Symposium.

We were impressed by our 2016 encounter with the depth of Amy Cheng and Jeph Lo’s research and curatorial intelligence, and are honoured that Jeph will present some of his ideas in his keynote lecture at the Symposium. We are grateful to Acid House and Lacking Sound, artist-run collectives from whom we learned in 2016 about the questions and practices they pursue as agents of critical sound and listening, and with whom in 2017 we are experimenting with the creation of collective social space. And we formally begin our tour in the city of Tainan, where our partner Ting Shuo Hear Say, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang and Nigel Brown, instrumental in facilitating this and our previous visit, have enabled us to open our program with an offering of communion and collective ritual.

Finally, that article about Hong-Kai Wang, by our good friend Mattin, that first sparked our interest in working with artists from Taiwan, was published in White Fungus, and so it feels somewhat fitting that White Fungus are our co-producers of this publication and the SUBLATE event (2-3 December), the grand finale of the ENTERING TONE tour. That essay, and Ron Hanson’s article about the Taiwanese sound scene in that same edition (WF13), enlarged our curiosity to the point of wondering whether a Taiwanese tour might, in fact, be possible. It is a pleasure to collaborate with a publication that has provided so much knowledge and enjoyment to us and readers interested in experimental music and art the world over. We are grateful to Ron and Mark Hanson for extending the characteristic WF openness, energy, insight and vision into the realisation of this collaboration with us.

We are excited about the discursive and performance activities we have planned for ENTERING TONE, and while we don’t know exactly what will transpire across our program of talks, performances and workshops, we can relinquish the need to know, because we know that whatever happens, the awareness we will be generating means we won’t be unchanged.

Curated by Danni Zuvela with Anabelle Lacroix and Betty Apple

Partners

Artists

Betty Apple

desecrating the imaginary historical burden and false symbols of race and history

Hong-Kai Wang

A political space is often opened where contradictions and complex relations occur. Rather than constructing a biography that illustrates, it seems more interesting to explore a political history of an artist's friendship with his collaborators and interlocutors, including myself.

Acid House

Acid House are an experimental collective based in New Taipei City. Their work encompasses music, performances and experimental conversations within a communal setting.

Al Burro

toiling in industrial warehouses, lazing in ambient fields

Andrew McLellan

rather than being slowed down by your brain needing to figure out how to say the words first.

Berserk

Berserk is a noise project initiated by Jared Xu

Chun Yin Rainbow Chan

The fake as a complex sign that shapes new myths, values and contemporary commodity production.

Clare Cooper

Healing through improvised harp and open heart

Dino

A seminal figure in the second wave of the Taiwanese noise movement during the late-1990s

Hsu Chieh

Male, born in 1990, 181cm, Gemini, blood type A.
Interests: shopping, karaoke, dance, watching movies.

Jannah Quill

ordinary digital interfaces and technological machines as materials to generate new experiences reinterpreted from the intended consumer use of the digitally banal

Jeph Lo

ALTERing NATIVism

Kai-Cheng Dai

performance maker, spatial designer, translator, interpreter and cultural tour guide

Kaya Hanasaki

Kaya Hanasaki is an artist born in Tokyo, who's practice responds to contemporary social issues with performance, installation, workshop and media

Lacking Sound Festival

not a festival per se; rather, LSF is a regular sound performance event taking place in Taipei.

Lonely God

Lonely God is a label/collective based in Taipei.

Nathan Gray

The sound you can hear in your head when you scratch your scalp

Shi Chao Lai

“none to form as form to none”

Sondes

Tesla coil, home-made electronic instruments and a motion controller, modifying both the sound and light through space and time

SoundWatch

a space to promote the creation, exhibition, performance and renovation of experimental audio art in Taipei

Ting Shuo Hear Say

performance venue, sound studio and listening gallery based in Tainan

Tzu Ni

an exploration of the reciprocally constructed connections between analogue sound and refracted light.

White Fungus

White Fungus is an international art magazine and project based in Taichung City, Taiwan

Archive