Reading Environments: Sound and Listening

Tuesday 24 July 2018
4.00 - 6.00pm

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MECO S226 seminar room
Woolley Building | Manning Road
University of Sydney


Reading Environments is a new series of gatherings sponsored by the Sydney Environment Institute and open to staff and students from across the University of Sydney.

Our common focus is the developing, diversified, and interdisciplinary field of the Environmental Humanities. Key concerns will be drawn from environmentally-engaged philosophy, art, literature, history, and so forth. Exemplary topics may include cultures of climate change; bioethics; animals; nonhuman temporalities; ecology and biodiversity; posthumanism; planetarity; etc.

In our first term, we will sample a variety of works – academic and otherwise – that represent significant, but by no means exhaustive, features and futures of the field. Future selections will reflect the interests of salon members. Our method will encompass readings, structured discussions, free conversations, field trips, and other endeavours besides. Our materials will be drawn from sources critical and creative; textual and ephemeral; visual and other-sensory.

This month’s suggested material:

Philip Samartzis & Daniela d’Arielli – A Futurist’s Cookbook (Galaverna 2018)

This project involves sonic and photographic engagements with Pollinaria, a large farm in Italy’s Abruzzo region. The work affords new ways of thinking about relations among land and sound, agriculture and environment, urban and rural, industry and the countryside, and so on.

Matthew Burtner – “Climate Change Music: From Environmental Aesthetics to Ecoacoustics” (South Atlantic Quarterly 116.1 (2017):145-61)

As a composer and a critic, Burtner is interested in how “changing environmental conditions” might be enlisted “as instruments and procedures” for making and performing music. The article articulates “a new musical tonality” which emerges at the intersections of ecoacoustic technique and climate change.

Max Ritts, Stuart H. Gage et al. – “Collaborative research praxis to establish baseline ecoacoustics conditions in Gitga’at Territory” (Global Ecology and Conservation 7 (2016): 25-38)

This paper explains the results, as well as the practice, of establishing an “acoustic baseline” in Gitga’at Territory (British Columbia, CA). It’s an explicitly ecological study, but the paper opens numerous philosophical, methodological, and other concerns which have relevance for our group. These include the significance of nonvisual sense, collaborations among indigenous and non-indigenous methods knowledges, and the nature of “vernacular” science.

For more information contact: killian.quigley@sydney.edu.au