In an interview with Digicult, Salomé Voegelin describes, “I understand sound, exactly because of its formless in-between nature”. As more than a third of the planet’s human population has gone into some sort of social restriction…self-isolation, social isolation, physical distancing, quarantine…since those who have the luxury of walls have gone behind them–time has not so much stood still, but became fragmented and blurred. Our schedule markers have gone virtual, or gone away, or are far away. Time shifts, feels like a pause, gets interrupted by children home, or emergency texts going off, our Zooms and Skypes ringing, hourly checks of creeping data maps where loved ones live. The luxurious and real stress of shifting online, a vast chunk of the world becomes framed. That other chunk of the world, out our windows, also framed. Behind our walls, safe and surreal, sound connecting all. As artists of various media attempt to capture some essence of this time, it may be found that fragments, notes, moments, and blurs, are what express better our experience.
When Covid-19 hit, I began to write again in pencil. I felt anxious until I could accept a fragmented interior with a hundred variations and versions, everything in process…process over progress. Text, audio, visual-both moving and still, compilations, complications, towards combobulations, if that is what comes. This is a time-capsule archive of finished works, and of fragments, reflecting a fragmented time. Fragments that feel frozen or appropriate as they are, and would then be placed with other fragments to create an unanticipated whole.
Sonic, Social, Distance, is calling for works on listening and sound, and thinking about listening and sound, in the time of social distance…alone together, together apart. We are calling for full texts, as well as text with media, or fragments and notes that will be curated and compiled together. This call is on-going, until it no longer makes sense. Please feel free to send any inquires and submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subseries call: Soundtracks for Strange Days
I look at framed pictures on my walls, what a luxury to have things hanging on walls, to have walls. What a luxury to have borders and frames, giving us the impression of divide and containment, of safety, of form. We have relied on these divisions and compartments for a long time. We perceive the world through them. It’s a skewed perception, warped to serve, and made to feel easy. We lose some in not accepting the complexity, the “formless in-between nature”. I am listening and thinking about listening in the time of social distance and frames – windows and screens.
With the call for self-isolation observed came a quieting and change in many soundscapes. Less traffic, on roads and in air, bars, restaurants, cafés closed, for a little while even construction ceased. Many took photos of the sky outside their windows, brighter and sharper each week passing. Many recorded the changed sound of their changed environments outside windows, the soundscape revealing a diversity and distance different than before. Sometimes the interior is caught…a reflection of the photo taker, a phantom of anxious eyes in those framed clouds. That birdsong chorus with the addition of stir-crazy screaming children in the other room. Could we also find a way to sound the interior of the person recording in these moments, their thoughts and feelings in all of the complication?
Soundtracks for Strange Days is looking to publish audio-visual works with this form:
- A static moving-image shot out a window or door that includes its frame
- The recorded sound out that window or door at that moment
- The sound outside and behind the frame, what we cannot see…this has no rules, find a way sonically to express your interior: design, layer, process, use canned sound, use archival sounds, use the actual chaos that may be happening at that time, or another time
These works will be collected and published here periodically as part of this series, as well as put together in its own accessible archive in the future.