Open House Chicago | Aural Architecture

Join us 1-3pm Saturday, October 13 and 3-5pm Sunday, October 14 for Aural Architecture: Hearing is the Other Half of How We Know.

Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park
5500 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
free and open to the public

On Saturday, I will be leading four brief tours with Katie Wood from 1:00 until 3:00 PM. Katie and Christophe Preissing lead tours on Sunday, from 3:00 until 5:00 PM.

Augustana Lutheran Church was designed by architect Edward Dart (1925-75), built in 1967. His design is remarkable for its simplicity and effectiveness in enhancing the human voice.

This is a partnered event planned and coordinated through the Chicago Architecture Center, NON:op Open Opera Works, and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology for the 2018 Open House Chicago.

Balance-Unbalance 2018 New Value Systems | September 20-21

Advances In Eco-sensing and Soundscape: A Virtual Panel 2018 with Eric Leonardson, Dr. Leah Barclay, Alex Braidwood, Lindsey French, Amanda Gutiérrez, and Linda Keane.
15:30-17:00 CEST / 8:30-10:00 CST (Online real time viewing and listening link from Chicago, IL; Brisbane, QLD; Brooklyn, NY; Ames, IA and Milwaukee, WI to be posted.)

Balance-Unbalance 2018 New Value Systems is hosted September 20th and 21st 2018 by The Patching Zone, the City of Rotterdam and partners in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

This online panel discusses several ongoing projects that began under the name “Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape,” a course taught in the fall of 2015 by Eric Leonardson and Lindsey French, at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This studio course connected concepts and applied practices at the intersections of acoustic ecology and the hacking aesthetic of art and technology; opening possibilities for transdisciplinary collaborations and offering new understandings of our environments and our boundaries, locations, and roles within them. Subsequently, numerous collaborations and opportunities have flowed in new contexts and localities. These have grown with support for public engagement in the ecologies of sound, listening, and environment, demonstrating the importance of students and teachers who engage each other as partners in play and learning together, mentoring and activating local communities in the core value of listening. Recognition of this is shifting though it remains if this will be a lasting change with the dynamic and complex circumstances operative now. The panelists joining Leonardson and French are sound and media artists Leah Barclay, Alex Braidwood, Amanda Gutiérrez, and architect Linda Keane. Their individual and combined efforts engage and activate students and public communities in design of urban soundscapes using virtual environments, social codes of immigrant communities, river listening, soundwalking, plant communication, art-science collaborations, and human computer interaction.

The Balance-Unbalance conference brings together artists, designers, scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, policymakers, sociologists, entrepreneurs and technologists from the world, based on the conviction that greater ecological awareness can be created through joint efforts. The conference focuses on debate, new insights and finding innovative solutions for issues arising from the global climate crisis.

The 2018 theme revolves around New Value Systems. We specifically think of sustainability and social impact as important value indicators. Of course, we will also reflect on the practical, economic and philosophical issues that such new value systems entail. As practical applications, one can think of sustainable retail innovation; social value creation and revitalization of cities; revenue models for creative place makers; the ecological aspects of cryptocurrencies and how to interface new value systems with the current monetary system.

Find the full conference Programme and Proceedings here.

People To the River | Eco Boat Cruise | September 11

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Tuesday, September 11
Chicago Rover Eco-Cruise Series
Chicago Line Cruises, just north of Centennial Fountain at 465 North McClurg Court (on Ogden Slip)
Tickets and information

This evening I will discuss my work with Linda Keane and SAIC students, teaching artists, and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, with Chloe Gurin Sands, heath advocate from the Metropolitan Planning Council, and Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, architect of Chicago’s Riverwalk.

A.I.R. Krems


I am honored to be one of two SAIC faculty awarded a one-month international summer artist’s residency with a studio and living quarters at AIR Krems on the Danube River. Located in the Kunstquartier of Krems, these facilities are provided through the support of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in an exchange with a consortium of cultural institutions referred to collectively as the Kunstmeile Krems. Krems and the Wachau region of Austria is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Visit my AIR Krems profile here.

Masters International Media Cultural Workshop

In mid-June, 2018 I led a 3-day workshop for over 20 graduate students of the International Media Cultural Work program at the Dieburg Media Campus of Hochschule Darmstadt. Their prompt, “How do you actively engage others in listening for everyday sounds,” was explored through ear cleaning exercises, soundwalking, site visits, and discussion, then realized for public performance in soundwalks led by the students in the finissage of their exhibition on Sunday, June 24 at the Rathaus and Museum Schloss Fechenbach.

Proceedings of Invisible Places 2017

The proceedings of Invisible Places 2017 | Sound Urbanism and Sense of Place were finally released last month and are free to download!

Get them in a single, exquisitely designed 685-page PDF from http://invisibleplaces.org/#proceedings.

Reflections about our workshop titled, “How do Soundwalks Engage Urban Communities in Soundscape Awareness?” was co-written with fellow Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology Board members, Amanda Gutierrez and Norman W. Long.

Keynotes by Juhani Pallasmaa, Hildegard Westerkamp, and Sam Auinger are included along nearly 40 papers plus artists talks, soundwalks, workshops, and photos.

Invisible Places took place on 7– 9 April 2017 São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal.

Workshop: Eco-sensing and the Soundscape at Light Box

Eco-sensing and the Soundscape Workshop

Saturday, April 28 at 10 AM – 1 PM EDT

Light Box, 8641 Linwood St, Detroit, Michigan 48206

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DIY Eco-sensing Workshop ISU College of Design


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Master of Design in Sustainable Environments, Iowa State University

On Monday, March 26 I have the honor of being a guest of Iowa State University’s Master of Design in Sustainable Environments, where I will give my talk on Advances in Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape.

This talk discusses several ongoing projects that intersected in 2015, under the name “Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape,” a studio course taught in the fall of 2015 at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. By connecting concepts and practices of acoustic ecology with the hacking aesthetic of art and technology the course sought to open up possibilities for transdisciplinary collaborations, offer new understandings of our environments and our boundaries, locations, and our roles within them as artists, designers, and listeners. New collaborations and new contexts have developed that extend beyond the classroom and studio, to actively engage public awareness in the ecologies of sound, listening, and environment.

Workshop: Listening Above and Below; Eco-Sensing DIY

Be it for live electronic music or field research, making handheld sensors are core methods and devices for learning about sound maps and embodied sensing through an introduction to “ear cleaning,” soundwalking and hands-on hydrophone making.

One of the goals of this talk and workshop is to draw people from ISU’s music school, design college, and engineering program.

I organized a virtual panel discussion on Advances in Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape for Balance-Unbalance 2017 in Plymouth, Chicago, Brisbane, and New York, archived on video here.

Ragdale Residency | February 2018

trees, snow, house

The Ragdale House at sunset, photo by Eric Leonardson © 2018

The start of this new year brings a special time for peaceful reflection, planning, performing, production, and fellowship during my 25-day residency at Ragdale. This is my third residency here since 2015. Ragdale is an interdisciplinary artists’ community established in 1976 in Lake Forest, Illinois by poet Alice Judson Hayes, the granddaughter of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw.

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