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.
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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. LA may also collect personal information over the phone, in person or by electronic correspondence in order to undertake its regular administrative operations.
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DATA ACCESS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Jacob Kirkegaard: Labyrinthitis
Liquid Architecture in partnership with ACCA and the Biennale of Sydney present Jacob Kirkegaard’s groundbreaking microtonal audio work, Labyrinthitis, which consists of sounds recorded within the labyrinth of Kirkegaard’s own ears, capturing vibrations arising off of pure tones catching the cochlea hairs in the fluid pathways of the aforementioned labyrinth. These are real sounds (known as otoacoustic emissions) created, not just received, by our ears. It is literally the sound of ourselves hearing.
Kirkegaard not only recorded the sound of his own ears hearing, but used a tone frequency formula which has been found to generate new tones completely secondary to the sounds being heard. When two tones are played at a certain ratio to one another, the ear, through the otoacoustics, creates a completely new third tone, like overtones on a piano, or the Tartini tone on a violin. This means that our bodies are naturally inclined to interact with harmonising music, even to sing along with it through our ears. In the liner notes to Labyrinthitis, Noise, Water, Meat author Douglas Kahn refers to this process as “active hearing”.
Kirkegaard creates the third ear-stimulated tone via this mathematical formula to stimulate the two harmonising tones in his own ear through otoacoustics. He then uses these tones to harmonise with each other and create a third tone in the listener’s ear. Then, to further complicate the labyrinthine nature of the composition, he recreates that third tone in his own ear on the album and combines that with a fourth tone to create a fifth tone in the listener’s ear and so on and so on. It plays out like a series of descending chromatic notes, but at the microtonal and deep listening level, much of what the listener hears is not literally there on the recorded composition. It’s inside of us, placed by our own ears. Each listener is a collaborator and musician, honing in on the auditory tuning of our own ears.
“The provocation of Kirkegaard’s Labyrinthitis is to show that two-way traffic happens in the ear, at the point that transduction begins. This is what the astrophysicist Thomas Gold first proposed in his 1948 biophysics paper describing OAEs as “a feedback system consisting of a mechanical-to-electrical transduction process coupled to an electrical-to-mechanical transduction process.” The physiological fact of transductive reversal in active hearing reroutes relationships among technology, nature and the body. The tiny microphones and speakers in Kirkegaard’s ears, with sounds and electronic signals going both directions, are not separated by a gulf of nature and technology, but are instead in discursive and actual circuit with motions, energies, forces, impulses and radiations.”
—Douglas Kahn, San Francisco 2008