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Collaborative Experimentation in Sound
An Institute of Speculative and Critical Inquiry and Fåbrica Braço de Prata Summer School

Faculty: David Grubbs and Jan St. Werner

July 12-17 2021, Lisbon

Tuition: €650

David Grubbs and Jan St. Werner will lead participants in multidisciplinary explorations of sound, body, and space, combining traditional and theoretical knowledge with hands-on experimentation in using sound as an art form. How can we approach sound as something other than morphology or sign? What happens when we bracket musical aesthetics?

Participants in this hybrid workshop/seminar will be guided through a process of collaborative research and critical and creative production, with five days of instruction culminating in a public event that will combine performances, readings, demonstrations, and discussions. A fundamental orientation for these collaborative efforts will be that “everyone does everything,” on the understanding that the most fruitful collaborations occur when individuals are able to gain practical experience of every relevant mode of production. Readings, viewings, and listenings will be assigned both prior to and during the workshop, and they will provide artistic and theoretical reference points for our work and discussions. Writing, both individual and collaborative, also will feature prominently, especially with a view toward language as sonic material and practice.

Grubbs and St. Werner look forward to working with individuals with diverse skills representing a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds, and encourage people to apply who have experience in fields such as sonic arts, sound studies, electronic and computer music, performance, dance, installation, art history, critical theory, and literature (particularly poetry and experimental writing practices).

All instruction as well as the performance will take place on site at Fábrica Braço de Prata; tuition includes full lunch and full dinner from Fabrica’s restaurant each day. Enrollment will be capped to ensure a seminar atmosphere. If Covid restrictions remain in place, we intend to hold the event while respecting social distancing measures.  

To apply, please send to isci@theisci.org a letter of interest, your cv, and a sample of your work (provide a link for large files) and indicate that you are applying to the “Collaborative Experimentation in Sound” summer school. (Please also indicate the title of summer school in the subject line of your email and combine all written files into one pdf.)  

Applications are rolling but initial reviews will begin in early January, so please apply early to guarantee full consideration and in order to arrange institutional funding if applicable. Note that the Institute of Speculative and Critical Inquiry presently cannot provide financial aid and may be slow to respond to inquiries about that possibility.

David Grubbs is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. At Brooklyn College he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing. He is the author of The Voice in the HeadphonesNow that the audience is assembled, and Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (all Duke University Press) and, with Anthony McCall, Simultaneous Soloists (Pioneer Works Press). Grubbs has released fourteen solo albums, appeared on more than 190 releases, and was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait. He is also known for his ongoing cross-disciplinary collaborations with poet Susan Howe and visual artists Anthony McCall and Angela Bulloch. 

Jan St. Werner is an artist and electronic music composer based in Berlin. Widely recognized as one half of the electronic music group Mouse on Mars, he has also pursued a solo career creating music under his own name as well as Lithops, Noisemashinetapes, and Neuter River. Starting in the mid-1990s as part of Cologne’s A-Musik collective, St. Werner has released a steady stream of records both as a solo artist and with Mouse on Mars. He has collaborated with Oval’s Markus Popp as Microstoria and contributes music for installations and films by visual artist Rosa Barba. During the 2000s Werner acted as the artistic director for STEIM, the Dutch Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music. In 2013 St. Werner released Blaze Colour Burn, the first of a series of experimental recordings called the Fiepblatter Catalogue. St. Werner has been a visiting lecturer at MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) and currently serves as Professor for Interactive Art and Dynamic Acoustic Research at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg.