Anton Kats


Sound Crystals

The practice-based seminar is an exercise in sonorology and transmission.

Drawing on the relationships between crystalline minerals, metals and radio waves as the birthplace of radio transmission, the seminar will explore geographical, socio-political, musical and mystical co-dependencies between sound and power. In doing so, the seminar will collaboratively develop a listening site and consider research trajectories allowing for a reflection of the multi-layered, literal and metaphorical expressions of sonicity and politics.

Following the electricity flow in modular synthesizers on its way to becoming sound, the students are invited to become an ensemble focusing on the development and presentation of individual and collaborative projects. Invoking listening as a sonic strategy altering one’s practice and uncertainty into a readable place, the seminar will draw on scientific methods of artistic research, performance, dance, music, improvisation, theatre, mediation, and film to make these useful in everyday context of artistic and agency driven work. Superimposing the practice of radio and art with sonic experimentation the seminar is driven by the fundamental questions of transmission:

Who transmits what for whom?

What is the transmission?

Why is something being transmitted?

Considering these as initial questions of agency and intention driving the practice, the students will be assisted in focusing, developing and reflecting on hybrid, process-driven, playful, imaginative, and contextualized procedures based on their practice and curiosity. The seminar will encourage the students to carry out new or to continue ongoing cross-disciplinary experiments inside and outside of the academy. The seminar will unfold through six block seminars, including peer reviews and incorporate project-specific theoretical inputs.

Recommended reading:

Pauline Oliveros (2022) Quantum Listening
Tara Rodgers and Jonathan Sterne (2011); The poetics of signal processing.
Theaster Gates (2019) Black Madonna
Sun Ra (2005) The Immeasurable Equation
Jerry Grillo (2021) The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton
Jacques Attali (2009); Noise, The Political Economy of Music
Hazrat Inayat Khan (1923); The Mysticism of Sound and Music
bell hooks (2000); teaching to transgress
Ultra Red (2012); Five Protocols of Organised Listening
Salome Voegelin (2018) The Political Possibility of Sound: Fragments of Listening.
Felix Guattari (1986); Popular Free Radio
Theodor W. Adorno (1966); Education After Auschwitz
Walter Evans-Wents ed. (1927); The great liberation by hearing in the intermediate states
Victor Wooten (2006); The Music Lesson
Rupert Sheldrake (2009); Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation