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
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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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All the Sound Arrives at Once
approx 5 hours
A Report from the Event
In February 2014 as part of the sonic arts festival Liquid Architecture, I took a minivan with 11 people in it out to a field in Geelong. I instructed the nine participants to stand in a field facing north and listen. Some of them closed their eyes. From that direction you could dimly hear generic hard rock floating across the field and after a while, much louder, you could hear an aircraft taking off.
This trip was a work of art, one that I had modelled on the sound walks of R. Murray Schafer, sightseeing excursions for the ears.
The aircraft, an FA 18 fighter plane taking off from Avalon airport which was invisible over a small rise, as it moved away from us the sound of its engines grew quieter but instead of continuing on its way it doubled back and picked up speed. Coming in very low and not far from where we were standing it roared overhead and broke the sound barrier.
The sound was immense, our whole party dropped to the ground, many screamed involuntarily, it made my ears ring even though we were all wearing ear plugs, we could hear car alarms in the parking lot of the airport and then cheering from the airfield.
When something breaks the sound barrier, it isn’t to do with how loud it is, it’s simply that it travels so quickly that it catches up to its own sound and from ones own vantage point all the sound arrives at once, whether it is loud like a plane or quiet like a whip moving through air it makes a boom or a crack. And it always sounds like it’s right overhead.
I had discovered that the Avalon Air Show always began with one of the latest fighter jets “buzzing” the crowd and breaking the sound barrier. I wanted my group to experience this phenomenon without knowing before hand what they would experience. And I also wanted the remove the experience from the spectacle of militarism that permeates the air show. Later that day fighter planes would simulate the bombing of ground forces for the entertainment of the crowd. I wanted my group to divorce as much as possible the sound from its origin, allowing it to an acousmatic existence. I wanted all the sensations to arrive at once.
As an experience the tour was a success but as a document it was a complete failure. Firstly the sound recorder was set very low, so low that you cant hear anything in the recording that is until the sonic boom clips the recording completely creating another kind of silence. Secondly my videographer had managed to drop to the floor with the rest of us, missing the aircraft passing overhead. In the video the plane is moving so fast that it’s barely discernable in the frame before he hits the dirt.
My project was intended to provide the experience of this phenomenon to a small audience; it wasn’t intended to exist as documentation really. But the work has now been transmitted in a different way, as rumour, and it has arrived back to me in several forms. Sometimes the location is different, sometimes I chartered the plane, a couple of times the work was related to me as being to work of another artist and once someone had heard it from someone who had claimed to be there but they were not one of the 11 people I took.
The phenomenon of the sonic boom had sent out ripples as rumours, changing from sonic propagation to another, existing like many artworks as a story artists tell to each other and residing in the imagination more effectively than in a gallery.
Nathan Gray, 2017