Participants at the Her Noise Study Day (c) UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre

On Tuesday 13th June the Archives and Special Collections Centre hosted a study day on behalf of “Antiuniversity Now”, an organisation that describes itself as offering “an ongoing programme of free and inclusive self-organised radical learning events”.

The study day centred on the Her Noise archive. This is our flagship sound art collection and one of our most popular research requests. It comprises the lifecycle of the Her Noise exhibition, held in South London Gallery in Camberwell in 2005. Her Noise was conceived as a response to the curators’ perception of male dominance within sound art shows and exhibitions and a way of redressing this imbalance. The archive holdings consist of the initial planning and research around the exhibition, audio-visual documentation of the featured installations, interviews and symposia, and subsequent additions of material. It interestingly contains an “archive within an archive” as the curators intentionally built up a research repository of books, zines and recordings for exhibition visitors to consult.

The study day began with an introductory tour of the Her Noise collection, showing off samples of the types of material that we hold. The visitors then split into two groups, each having the chance to both consult the physical records and also to take part in their own sound art experience, utilising the audio-visual aspects of the collection. After lunch the groups reconvened to talk through their discoveries and ideas for further research before heading down to 56a Infoshop, a DIY social centre and radical archive nearby in Walworth, for further research opportunities. It was fascinating to be able to trace the thought processes of the exhibition’s curators and exhibitors and to listen to examples of sound art recordings. This event is a great example of how archived art is able to inspire a whole new batch of artists’ works. You can learn more about the Her Noise archive via our archive catalogue.

Image Credit: Robin Sampson