An international symposium for sound art

On 7th and 8th of October an international symposium for sound art will take place at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. Its title is ”Sound art: transforming the space into a place”, a slightly updated quotation from Max Neuhaus, the pioneer of sound art, and it will feature lectures and presentations by practising sound artists, including Max Eastley and Jacob Kirkegaard, as well as journalists, critics and art historians, among which will be Helga de la Motte-Haber, Rahma Khazam and Volker Straebel. The symposium is curated by Carsten Seiffarth from Berlin and is a co-production of EUNIC, network of the European Union National Institutes for Culture in Latvia, and Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music.


An international symposium about the history and current tendencies of sound art/audio visual art. The International symposium intends to mediate and support a theoretical discourse and actual knowledge about past, present and future dimensions of sound art in Latvia and beyond. With formats like lectures and panel discussions topics like “Sound art in the landscape” or “The specific role of sound in artwork practices” will be considered. Speeches and discussions will be held by artists, art historians and musicologists from the field of sound art, among which are such authori-ties as the German musicologist Helga de la Motte-Haber, French art critic Rahma Khazam, pioneer of English sound art Max Eastley, Danish sound artist and musician Jacob Kirkegaard, musicologist Volker Straebel from Berlin and local artists Voldemārs Johansons and Evelīna Deičmane. Most of the speeches will be complemented by demonstrating examples of sound art: created by the lecturing artists or historically relevant. The symposium, which is curated by Carsten Seiffarth (Berlin), is a cooperation project co-organized by Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music and EUNIC, network of the European Union National Institutes for Culture in Latvia. It is a conceptual introduction to another co-production of Skaņu Mežs and EUNIC Riga – the sound art exhibition “SKAN II”, which is coming in 2014 as part of the program of Riga as European capital of culture.


Sound art is a site specific and location related art form, meant for hearing and seeing. Bordering between music, sculpture, visual art and the new electronic media in its various forms, it is an art form that enables open and direct involvement of the audiences for an open, direct access, which creates new pathways and spaces of aesthetic experience for a wide audience. It focuses on space and defines itself through architectural, historical and social contexts. During the last decades due to its dynamics, sound art has developed into one of the most important transgressive art forms. Closely related to the traditional arts, it evokes important impulses which influence the changes in aesthetic thinking.


Viestarts Gailitis (Riga) „Latvian traditions and developments in Sound Art“

Helga de la Motte-Haber (Berlin) „Sound Art: Space as information which is present “

Volker Straebel (Berlin) „Sound Art and Music – a historical review“

Rahma Khazam (Paris) „Sound art and Architecture“

Max Eastley (London) „Sound Art in the Landscape“

Jacob Kirkegaard (Kopenhagen/Berlin) „Sound and Space as a material in Sound Art“

Evelīna Deičmane (Riga) „Sound in my art practice“

Voldemārs Johansons (Riga) „Objectivity of Sound”

Judith Laub (Berlin) “The Silbadores”


7.10.2013 (Monday)

10:00 – 10:30, conference opening

Carsten Seiffarth, welcome

Viestarts Gailitis: „Latvian Traditions and Developments in Sound Art“

10:30 – 11:20, key note

Helga de la Motte-Haber: „Sound Art: Space as Information Which is Present“

11:25 – 11:55, lecture

Voldemārs Johansons: „Objectivity of Sound“

12:00 – 13:10, round table

with Helga de la Motte-Haber, Voldemārs Johansons, Carsten Seiffarth

Moderator: Raoul Mörchen

13:15 – 14:30, lunch break

14:30 – 15:20, key note

Volker Straebel „Sound Art and Music – A Historical Review“

15:25 – 15:55, lecture

Evelīna Deičmane: „Sound in My Art Practice“

16:00 – 16:35, lecture

Jacob Kirkegaard: „Sound and Space as a Material in Sound Art“

16:50 – 18:00, round table

with Volker Straebel, Evelīna Deičmane, Jacob Kirkegaard

Moderator: Raoul Mörchen

8.10.2013 (Tuesday)

10:00 – 10:50, key note

Rahma Khazam: „Sound Art and Architecture“

10:55 – 11:30, lecture

Max Eastley: „Sound Art in the Landscape“

11:40 – 13:00, final round table

with Helga de la Motte-Haber, Rahma Khazam, Max Eastley, Viestarts Gailītis

Moderator: Raoul Mörchen

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