On 11-12 November 2016, Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) is holding its two-day Sound::Gender::Feminism::Activism conference, this year exploring White Noise.

Professor Cathy Lane is CRiSAP Co-Director and a member of the Sound::Gender::Feminism::Activism 2016 programme committee, and she spoke to us on behalf of SGFA 2016 about what a newcomer can expect from the SGFA experience.

How would you describe the Sound::Gender::Feminism::Activism conference to a first–time attendee? What can they expect from an SGFA event?
SGFA is not a typical academic conference – far from it – instead SGFA events consist of a lively mixture of performance, sound works and film with some more formal research presentations. They are generally sociable, informal and not at all intimidating.

Why white noise?
White Noise is a well known sonic phenomenon, it is the broad-band, non-pitched sound that often masks other sounds and makes them inaudible. In the current field of sound arts, as in the wider world that we all exist in, there are many unseen phenomena that also make some sounds and voices more audible than others. SGFA exists to question and open up discussion of how sound, feminism, gender, race and colour work together in all aspects of our sounding world.

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Hernoise Archive

And more specifically, why white noise in 2016?
In 2016 there has been an increasing discussion of whiteness and white privilege in relation to how we can all live our lives, yet there is still very little study of whiteness and how it dominates every aspect of politics, education and the lives people live. When there is a need for movements such as Black Lives Matter surely we have to question this ‘white noise’ that dominates and masks the voices of others.

What are you most excited about hearing/seeing from this year’s contributors?
We have some amazing presenters at SGFA2016 from all over the world. Some have presented at previous SGFA events. I am excited about all of them and the event in general, but a personal favorite is Invasorix, a group of artists from Mexico City who use songs, music videos, publications, tarot readings and performative presentations as a form of queer-feminist protest.

We are pleased to be hosting Ring Di Alarm Workshop for strategies of sonic resistance. This will take place on Thursday 10 November for SGFA2016 attendees and will explore alternative references and strategies for sonic resistance to negate the White Noise of the production of racialized cultural, social and political narratives. We are delighted to have two amazing keynote presenters: art historian, critic and curator, Christine Eyene who is talking about ‘Coming at it from a black perspective: curatorial attempt on the sounds we make’ and Vron Ware, Chair of Sociology & Gender Studies at Kingston University lecturing on ‘Nightingales and Bombers’. It’s going to be great.

What would you regard as the best possible response from someone attending SGFA for the first time this year?
Stimulating, fun, friendly, well organised, thought-provoking……..and with a good lunch.

What do you see as the biggest misconception about sound arts?
Many people do not understand what sound arts is or only think about sound in relation to another medium such as film. Sound is still not very well understood as a unique sense which we take for granted but which offers us a very different experience and way of knowing the world from other senses, particularly the visual. Sound art explores these different ways of experiencing and knowing.

There are so many creative subjects taught at LCC – what advice would you give to someone from another discipline interested in finding out more about what sound arts is?
Come to some of our events! We have a visiting practitioner presenting their work every Thursday afternoon in term time and regular events such as Points of Listening. All details of our events can be found on the CRiSAP website crisap.org.

View the event listing

Visit the CRiSAP website

Read more about MA Sound Arts and BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design