Curating Sonic Labs: Defining new strategies for the public exhibition of sound art
Laura Plana Gracia is a curator, artist and researcher, currently undertaking a PhD at CRiSAP – studying the new tendencies in curatorial practices and cultural management in sonic arts. With an interest in sound art, science, technology and digital media, she is an active participant in hacking culture.
This talk introduces a practice-based research that identifies and critically addresses key issues in curating sound art and how it differs from contemporary visual arts curation. The research searches for possibilities to curate sound art outside the institution and focuses on alternative practices to enrich the curatorial scope. To do this, the research considers the emergence of labs as a framework for sound art production, which could be defined as “sonic labs”. The concept of the sonic laboratory as a site for developing sound art was largely initiated by media labs such as MIT Media Lab and Medialab Prado, which emerged in the mid-1990s, influenced by new technologies, do-it-yourself (diy) production, open-source culture (OSC), and digital media. The sonic lab is often characterised by its radical transformation of production, offering models of collaborative practices which encourage experimentation and creativity in the curation and production of sound arts. In this talk, I will talk about issues once curating sound art, the sonic lab as an alternative to curation, some historic examples of the sonic lab, the contemporary context of sonic labs (the artists, the arts centres and the exhibitions), to finalise with an explanation of what a sonic lab is.
Over the years, as a curator, she has taken part in many international events such as exhibitions, workshops, conferences, publications, and concerts in Spain, Portugal, UK, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Serbia, Russia, Hong Kong, the U.S., and Brasil. Among the collaborations, she developed projects with various institutions such as Fonoteca Nacional de Mexico, MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, CCCB Centre of Contemporary Culture Barcelona, MOTA Museum of Transitory Art, ISEA International Symposium of Electronic Arts. She has worked with the following new media festivals, ArtFutura, MUTEK, Alpha-ville. She collaborates with artists such as Locus Sonus, Scanner, Roy Ascott, Konrad Becker, Fran Illich, Milo Taylor, and Arcangelo Constantini, among much more. One of the future activities which support her practice-based research is the exhibition “Sounding D.i.Y.” (various venues, London, 2017).
LCC, Performance Lab
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