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CfP: “Sounds of Utopia”

Ausgabe Nr. 4 (2015) des Magazins “Tacet” sucht nach Artikeln zum genannten Thema. Die Veröffentlichung wird im Oktober 2015 liegen, die Artikel müssen spätestens zum 15. April 2015 eingereicht werden.

Weitere Informationen zum Call for Papers:

“Here is the call for papers for the next issue of Tacet, dedicated to «
Sounds of Utopia ». The articles should be sent by April 15, 2015, but
authors shall first inform the editorial committee of their planned
article via e-mail.

All information on instructions for authors are available here: www.tacet.eu

Kind regards,
Matthieu Saladin
Editor in chief of Tacet


Utopia is one of those concepts that haunt the history of ideas as well
as the history of artistic practices. This persistence conveys both a
contemporary malaise and the need, if not urgency, for the ideas about
difference that are shaped in part by the conception and enactment of a
utopia, ephemeral and circumstantial though they may be. The history of
sound art and experimental music is no exception: in it we find
reflections on
utopia, understood in terms of space (enclave, island, or heterotopia)
or of time (uchronia, heterochrony or projection of a possible future,
based on present concerns). But the concept of utopia might present
itself firstly as a radical alternative to the dominant musical and
artistic forms, or even to the traditional aesthetic categories intended
to distinguish among practices according to the media used. This gap is
as much a matter of the creative processes used as of the sounds
produced, heard, recorded, installed, organized, or improvised, but also
of their mediation. In all cases, it seems that utopia comes into play
at the heart of the dynamics that nurture experimental sound practices,
past and present.

Following on from the research gathered in the previous issue of TACET,
which dealt with sound space, the purpose of this issue is to invite
introspection on the sounds of utopia, in a variety of manners. Firstly,
in archeological fashion: What manifestations of and thoughts about
sound came out of the past century’s utopias, whether in their
political, military, and scientific achievements and plans or among the
artistic and poetic theories and movements that supported them? What
about their dystopian side? What representations and renegotiations came
about there in the relationships between time and space, language and
communication, silence and noise, and, more broadly, the aesthetic
experience? In what ways, from a sound perspective, was the social
ambition of (for example) the improvised and experimental collectives of
the late 1960s and
early 1970s expressed? What were the environmental or urban concerns of
the first sound artists working in

Call for Papers

public space? What ideologies, implicit or explicit, went hand in hand
with such investigations? What were their relationships to technology or
to daily life? But also, what legacies or perceptible reformulations of
those utopias are present in contemporary practices today?

One of the possible relevances of the expected research on these matters
lies in the light that they may shine, even if indirectly, on the issues
presented today by sound art and experimental music. But this issue also
seeks to concentrate on the specific relationships that current
practices maintain with the concept of utopia. What sound utopias are
specific to our contemporary world? In what ways are they expressed in
the sounds explored by works and in the projects of new media artists
(from free software to nanotechnology)? In another vein, how can these
practices allow us today to seize the “utopian impulses” that pepper
everyday life, according to Bloch? How are those impulses problematized
in these practices? What do recent experimental sound practices have to
tell us about the principle of micro-utopia, which is supposed to have
replaced the global scope of traditional utopia? While ecology seems to
be ever more present among the concerns of sound artists, in what ways –
from the perspective of utopia as well as of dystopia – is this interest
manifested in the sound processing of works, in auditory representations
of nature, or in sound design? On yet another level, it can be noted
that (in particular) the institutional interest that sound art has
enjoyed for some time now has been accompanied by the development of
courses devoted to these practices. What relationships do these
teachings have with regard to the elements mentioned above? What
thoughts about utopia can be observed among these experiences?

Science fiction films and literature remain among the primary media
through which the concept of utopia reaches into our imaginations. Thus
this issue also seeks to inquire into the relationships between these
genres and experimental sound practices, identifiable in their
respective histories. What sound worlds and representations can be
observed in the utopias and dystopias dramatized in these genres? What
links do they maintain, whether through film soundtracks or sound
descriptions of books, with the experiments being carried out in the
field of sound art and experimental music? To what collaborations might
they give rise? And conversely, what are their influences on these sound

Finally, in the line of science fiction, another approach could go in a
more speculative direction, taking interest in a fictional perspective
on the future of sound art and experimental music, but also in the way
that the prospective approach could come to problematize their current
forms. What futures exist for these practices? What will be their
sounds, their points of interest, their modes of creation, and the
devices used for listening in an individual or group context? What
relationships to society and the environment will they reveal? What will
be their thoughts about utopia, and how will these be expressed?

This new issue of TACET seeks to tackle these various questions from an
interdisciplinary viewpoint. The intention is to gather a group of
studies (transversal, general, or based on the analysis of specific
cases), conducted by researchers as well as by artists and musicians, in
which the sounds of utopia – but also of its underside, dystopia – will
be examined in their various echoes and in the heterogeneity
of the problematics that they convey. Authors shall first inform the
editorial committee of their planned article via e-mail, noting
the title of the contribution and attaching an abstract thereof.

The articles themselves are to be sent via e-mail by April 15, 2015 to:

The article should be accompanied by an abstract, a few keywords, and a
brief biography of the author. We ask that authors follow
the instructions (article formatting, bibliographic standards) available
at the following address; respecting these guidelines will facilitate
the editorial process and shorten the production process.

Publication: October 2015.



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