The Sonic Acts Research Series is a series of online dossiers devoted to specific aspects of the research that Sonic Acts conducts for its activities. Commissioned texts and interviews with featured artists and speakers are combined with films and material from previous Sonic Acts events. One such dossier will be published every month. The texts will eventually be made available in various formats to accommodate different reading and browsing tastes.
What Is Dark Ecology?
RESEARCH SERIES #26 In this essay, which draws on his book Dark Ecology, For a Logic of Coexistence, Timothy Morton — who originally coined the term dark ecology — explains what dark ecology is. He also argues how agrilogistics underpins our ecological crisis and our view of the world.
Nikel and Nikel Materiality
RESEARCH SERIES #25 Nikel is a small Russian mining city near the border with Norway. It was founded in the 1930s after enormous quantities of nickel were found nearby. At the time the area was Finnish. An infrastructure for mining the nickel was built in the 1930s with help from Canadian companies.
Interview Jananne Al-Ani
RESEARCH SERIES #24 Born in Iraq, London-based artist Jananne Al-Ani engages with the politics of the image. In her works in photography, film and video, Al-Ani interrogates our ways of seeing by undermining the structures of scale and perspective in which visual culture is shaped. While her conceptual application is subversive, her methods are gentle, often resulting in evocations of assumptions which are quietly unsettled. Julian Ross interviewed Al-Ani when she attended the Sonic Acts Festival in 2015 for the screening of her two films Shadow Sites I and Shadow Sites II.
Combining Compositional Precision and Uncontrolled Processes: Interview with Thomas Ankersmit
RESEARCH SERIES #23 On 12 October 2013 Arie Altena interviewed Thomas Ankersmit about his work and his set-up for his concert the following day in the Minoritenkirche in Krems. Ankersmit was there as part of the 2013 Kontraste Festival
Interview with Morton Subotnick: The computer as a performer-composer-conductor tool
RESEARCH SERIES #22 In October 2013 Morton Subotnick performed Silver Apples of the Moon, with visuals by Lillevan at Kontraste Festival in Krems (Austria). After the concert Arie Altena sat down with him to discuss his particular approach to electronic music.
The Geologic Imagination: Lectures, Interviews and Recordings
RESEARCH SERIES #19 To get you in the mood for the upcoming Dark Ecology Journey, Research Series #19 includes recorded lectures, excerpts of live performances, sound recordings and interviews made during the 2015 festival The Geologic Imagination. With contributors such as Timothy Morton, Jana Winderen, Espen Sommer Eide, BJ Nilsen and Karl Lemieux, Raviv Ganchrow, Ele Carpenter and Graham Harman.
Interview with Mark Williams on the geological record
RESEARCH SERIES #18 Sonic Acts was very happy to welcome Mark Williams to the 2015 festival ‘The Geologcic Imagination’. After his lecture on the fundamental changes in the earth systems, Williams talked to Sonic Acts' Liesbeth Koot and Menno Grootveld.
Interview with Lukas Marxt
RESEARCH SERIES #17 In one static shot, Lukas Marxt’s Reign of Silence (2013) observes a vessel boat swirl in circles in the Arctic sea and watches the ripples spread. While it’s only for a moment, the central theme that occupies Marxt makes itself visible – the dialogue between human and geological existence. As he journeys to the far corners of the earth, the Austrian artist lets so-called ‘deep time’ – the unimaginably vast time scale that describes geological processes – intersect with what we consider ‘real time.’
Interview with Karl Lemieux
RESEARCH SERIES #16 Live presence is not often considered to be a part of cinema, but Karl Lemieux thinks it should be. Using 16mm projectors as his principal tools, the Montreal-based artist employs various tactics to manipulate both the film material and apparatus itself during the act of projection—an approach that results in a distortion of the image. Working with Swedish composer and sound artist BJ Nilsen, Lemieux shot footage on the border between Russia and Norway. This would be the basis of their collaborative performance, unearthed, presented at the 2015 Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam.
The Stack and the Post-human User: an interview with Benjamin Bratton
RESEARCH SERIES #15 Benjamin Bratton is a theorist whose work spans Philosophy, Art and Design. He is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Director of The Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. He is also Professor of Digital Design at The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. In his book The Stack, due to be published in December 2015 by MIT Press, Benjamin Bratton develops a political perspective on computation on the planetary scale.
Interview with Don Foresta
RESEARCH SERIES #14 In June 2014 Sonic Acts invited research artist Don Foresta to give two presentations in the Netherlands. Before his lecture presentation at STEIM in Amsterdam, Arie Altena sat down with him to talk about his experiences, working with Nam June Paik, Woody and Steina Vasulka, and other pioneers of video art, and his involvement in the first experiments with network art.
Interview with Bart Rutten on Verticality
RESEARCH SERIES #13 In February 2014 the Vertical Cinema project was presented in the Stedelijk Museum. The programme was accompanied by lectures by experts on cinema, video, new media, and contemporary art, one of which was Bart Rutten, at that time still curator of modern and contemporary art at the Stedelijk Museum.
Interview with Noam Elcott on Verticality
RESEARCH SERIES #12 In February 2014 the Vertical Cinema programme was screened at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The programme was accompanied by four long lectures by experts on cinema, video, new media, and contemporary art. The American scholar Noam M. Elcott gave an impressive lecture-presentation which also sketched a possible genealogy of 'vertical cinema'.
An interview with Hillel Schwartz
SONIC ACTS RESEARCH SERIES #9 During Dutch Design Week, on Saturday 25 October 2014, Sonic Acts presented ‘A Day of Noise’ in Temporary Art Centre (TAC) in Eindhoven. The keynote speaker was cultural historian Hillel Schwartz, undoubtedly one of the world’s foremost experts on noise.
Tim Maughan interviews Liam Young
SONIC ACTS RESEARCH SERIES #7 One of the speakers at the next Sonic Acts Festival is speculative architect Liam Young. Together with Kate Davies he runs the Unknown Fields Division, ‘a nomadic design studio that ventures out on annual expeditions to the ends of the Earth exploring unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies’.
Dark Ecology Interview Tim Morton
SONIC ACTS RESEARCH SERIES #6 During the first Dark Ecology journey, which took place from 9 to 12 October 2014, a group of artists, researchers and theorists travelled the border zone between Norway and Russia. On the last day we sat down with Timothy Morton, author of amongst others The Ecological Thought and Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World.
Erika Balsom Interview
SONIC ACTS RESEARCH SERIES #5 In February 2014 Sonic Acts presented the Vertical Cinema project in the Dan Flavin Hall of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The programme included lectures on verticality in film by Philippe-Alain Michaud, Bart Rutten, Noam Elcott and Erika Balsom.
Science Fiction by Omar Muñoz-Cremers and ARC
SONIC ACTS RESEARCH SERIES #1 The publication of The Absence of Light inaugurates the Sonic Acts Research Series, in combination with the ARC panel videos we organised in cooperation with Simon Ings of ARC – ‘a magazine of futures and fiction from the makers New Scientist’.