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Eavesdropping: Susan Schuppli, Sam Kidel and Jasmine Guffond

  • UNSW Art & Design Cnor Oxford St & Greens Rd Paddington, NSW, 2021 Australia (map)

Three performances at UNSW Galleries by Susan Schuppli, Sam Kidel and Jasmine Guffond, as part of Eavesdropping, a major project by Liquid Architecture, Melbourne Law School and The Ian Potter Museum of Art exploring the politics of listening and being listened-to.

A lecture by Cana­dian artist, researcher, audio-inves­ti­ga­tor and Forensic Architecture asso­ci­ate, Susan Schuppli

The mate­r­ial wit­ness — an entity (object or unit) whose phys­i­cal prop­er­ties or tech­ni­cal con­fig­u­ra­tion records evi­dence of pass­ing events to which it can bear wit­ness. Whether these events reg­is­ter as a by-prod­uct of an unin­ten­tional encounter or as an expres­sion of direct action, his­tory and by exten­sion pol­i­tics is reg­is­tered at these junc­tures of onto­log­i­cal inten­sity. More­over, in dis­clos­ing these encoded events, the mate­r­ial wit­ness makes ‘evi­dent’ the very con­di­tions and prac­tices that con­vert such event­ful mate­ri­als into mat­ters of evi­dence.

SUSAN SCHUP­PLI is an artist and researcher based in the UK, whose work exam­ines mate­r­ial evi­dence from war and con­flict to envi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ters. Com­mis­sioned works include Nature Rep­re­sent Itself, Sculp­ture­Cen­ter, NY, Trace Evi­dence, Arts Cat­a­lyst, & Bild­museet and Atmos­pheric Feed­back Loops, a Ver­ti­cal Cinema project for Sonic Acts. Cre­ative projects have been exhib­ited through­out Europe, Asia, Aus­tralia and New Zealand, Canada and the US. She has pub­lished widely within the con­text of media and pol­i­tics and is author of the forth­com­ing book, Mate­r­ial Wit­ness (MIT Press). In 2016 she received the ICP Infin­ity Award for Crit­i­cal Writ­ing & Research. Schup­pli is Reader and Direc­tor of the Centre for Research Archi­tec­ture, Gold­smiths Uni­ver­sity of London and was pre­vi­ously Senior Research Fellow with Foren­sic Archi­tec­ture, an agency with whom she is still affil­i­ated.

A performance by Sam Kidel.

Where do you hear my voice? Do you hear it in the bone behind your ear? Does it radi­ate from your chest, towards your shoul­ders and beyond your body? Some­times when I hear a voice over the phone, it vibrates from the speaker at my ear, down the bone to the back of my neck, and sits there, hum­ming, behind my vocal cords.

Cus­tomer Ser­vice Agent is a sound per­for­mance piece explor­ing the call centre worker as a figure of sub­jec­tion to con­tem­po­rary cap­i­tal­ism, and the place of noise, inti­macy, and fan­tasy in this tedious, alien­ated work.

"Since work­ing in call cen­tres for a decade, I have been making art that explores this set­ting through sound.

Call cen­tres are places of con­stant eaves­drop­ping: the work­ers listen to the callers, the team lead­ers listen to the work­ers, the man­agers listen to all. While cen­tres col­lect and trans­mit cer­tain types of ‘signal’, I’m inter­ested in ‘noise’: the inti­macy of words and sounds off-script, dis­in­te­grat­ing hold music played through impre­cise tele­phone lines, and dis­rup­tion."

SAM KIDEL is a British artist, musician and researcher. His 2016 album Disruptive Muzak (Death of Rave) was described by Boomkat as 'a modern ambient masterpiece... the most prescient record of our times'. Sam Kidel is supported by the Macgeorge Bequest.

A browser performance by Sydney-based sound artist and composer, Jasmine Guffond.

Jas­mine Guffond’s The Web Never For­gets Guffond’s traces the his­tory of the Inter­net cookie, plac­ing it at the ori­gins of online auto­mated data cap­ture and sur­veil­lance cap­i­tal­ism.

JAS­MINE GUF­FOND is a sound artist and com­poser work­ing at the inter­face of social, polit­i­cal and tech­ni­cal infra­struc­tures. Her prac­tice spans live per­for­mance, record­ing and the capac­ity of sound instal­la­tion to inter­ro­gate site. Inter­ested in pro­vid­ing an audi­ble pres­ence for phe­nom­ena that usu­ally lies beyond human per­cep­tion, via the soni­fi­ca­tion of facial recog­ni­tion algo­rithms, global net­works or inter­net track­ing cook­ies she ques­tions what it means for our per­sonal habits to be trace­able, and for our iden­ti­ties, choices and per­son­al­i­ties to be reduced to streams of data.

We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the custodians of the land in which this event takes place, and we recognise that sovereignty was never ceded. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.