Conradian Crosscurrents : Creativity and Critique : Fordham University June 1-3

I am excited to be speaking at this event on Friday June 2 on the media crosscurrents panel. My paper, titled “Music’s Unseen Body,” locates in Heart of Darkness the erotic echoes of Conrad’s experiences of listening to opera and the phonograph. In the sound space of the novel, I find resonances with W.E.B. Du Bois’ contemporary writings of opera, as well as a fore-echoe of the American reception of Conrad by queer composer Henry Cowell.

To register for the conference, follow this link:

http://www.josephconrad.org/Upcoming-Conferences/Conradian-Crosscurrents/conradian-crosscurrents.html

Scenes of Subjection: Women’s Voices Narrating Black Death

In this essay, I ask what it means to listen to women narrate the spectacle of black death. Thank you to Sounding Out! for providing a capacious forum.

Sounding Out!

This past summer 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Warsaw and delivered an unplanned statement on the brutal police shooting deaths of two black men that had just occurred within one day of each other, Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. Obama was speaking from afar on the structural relationship between two events that should trouble “all of us Americans.” Obama spoke pointedly to the fact of “racial disparity” in police shootings and in the justice system more broadly.

Since November 2016, it has felt as though a space of sanctioned public discourse—still in the making since Reconstruction—has once again become smaller and, in a manner of speaking, unhearing. Quite simply, Obama’s statement meant that identification could not compass the ground of an imagined community. A white listener could not say, as with gun violence in general, “he speaks of someone who could have been me…

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The Politics of The Musical Situation: A Response to Marina Rosenfeld

The Politics of the Musical Situation: A Response to Marina Rosenfeld

Cover Image
Julie Beth Napolin, Marina Rosenfeld

Author and researcher Julie Beth Napolin presents here responses to sound artist Marina Rosenfeld from a discussion at The New School in New York City. Including material from a Bomb magazine interview with Rosenfeld, the political terrains of listening and power intersect acoustic art making.

continent Issue 5.3 / 2016 “Acoustic Infrastructures

April 8-9: Techniques of the Listener

I’m pleased to participate in “Techniques of the Listener,” convened by the Yale Sound Studies Working Group. We hope to write a collective essay on the proceedings.

About Techniques of the Listener

Techniques of the Listener” is a two day working group on audile techniques, supported by a Humanity/Humanities grant from Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center.

Our goal is to collectively examine, develop, and refine the notion of “audile techniques” from both practical and theoretical angles. The sessions are not public; rather they are designed to maximize conversation, exchange, and collective thinking.

We hope to approach the idea of audile technique both intensively and extensively. Intensively, we want to look at particular instances. By ranging across the disciplines, we hope to see how different cultural-historical situations are articulated and altered through the application of audile techniques. Each participant will present a short narrative of an audile technique, contemporary or historical, in hopes of building a small “sample set” of cases. By considering these cases we aim to study audile techniques both individually and comparatively. We hope to broaden and refine our understanding of what kinds of practices should be included under the heading of an audile technique.

Extensively, we seek to better understand the nature of audile techniques generally. Can we make inroads on developing a theory of audile techniques? Are current theories of audile techniques sufficient for illuminating and generalizing over individual cases? How do techniques, at once, organize and respond to the relays, successions, and recursive loops of auditory aspects of human experience?  Bringing the two approaches together, we seek to clarify the structure and nature of technique, while also remaining sensitive to the specific ways audile techniques are integrated with audio technologies and other sensory techniques.

After our two day meeting, we will make public the outcome and implications of the conversations.

Conveners:

J.D. Connor (Yale, Art History and Film Studies)
Ben Glaser (Yale, English)
Brian Kane (Yale, Music)

March 4: Dialogue with Marina Rosenfeld

Graduate Institute of Design, Ethnography, and Social Thought: Seminar with Marina Rosenfeld

Respondent, Julie Beth Napolin

Marina Rosenfeld presents “Surface Species – Playback and the Object.”

Friday, March 4, 2016 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

University Center, 411 63 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

This seminar is a discussion of a pre-circulated paper. It can be found on the GIDEST site for attendees to read in advance.

Marina Rosenfeld is an artist and composer who lives and works in New York. Her works include compositions for choir, orchestra and complexes of loudspeakers; a series of conceptual electric-guitar orchestras (Sheer Frost Orchestra); and since 2008, a custom sound-system (P.A.) that she has composed for and deployed in monumental sites including New York’s Park Avenue Armory and Western Australia’s Midland Railway Workshops. Rosenfeld has also performed as an experimental turntablist since the late ’90s, working with an ever-expanding palette of hand-crafted dub plates, alongside collaborators from Christian Marclay to Warrior Queen to Ralph Lemon, to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

 

Rountable : Talking Listening Seriously : James Baldwin and Sound

In this roundtable, we took up Keith + Mendi Obadike’s sound installation, “Blues Speaker [for James Baldwin]” (2015). The 12-hour work archives the sounds of “Sonny’s Blues,” also activating relations between sound, literary voice, and city space. We discussed Baldwin and the politics of listening, past, present, and future. With Mendi Obadike and Rich Blint.