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.
Last week, I enjoyed a nice chat with Chicago Tribune Architecture Critic, Blair Kamin. Here’s his article on the positive function of sound in the design and experience of urban spaces.
To summarize, rather than bemoaning excessive noise in the city, acoustic ecology studies how sounds function to mediate communication of individuals within their environment. This understanding requires both art and science.
With it we are able to consider the consequences of our actions, be they in the design and construction of our environment, transportation, entertainment, or other endeavors.
Leroy Neiman Center
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
37 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago IL 60603
Variations VI (1966), for a plurality of sound-systems (any sources, components and loud-speakers) will be performed by students, faculty, and others in the Leroy Neiman Center at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Variations VI is one of a set of seven variations composed between 1958 and 1967 by American composer, John Cage (September 5, 1912 — August 12, 1992).
This performance was organized by composer, instrumentalist, and SAIC Faculty member Julia Miller. Projects/Systems/Scores are designed by its performers: Lee Blalock, James Connolly, Anna Friz, Eric Leonardson, Julia A. Miller, Alyssa Moxley, Enid Smith, and Will Soderberg. Located in downtown Chicago, the Neiman Center is SAIC’s first ever campus center, recently opened in May 2012.
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Catch the final performances of Plasticene’s Graphomania at The Chopin Theatre, this week 7:30 pm Thursday, March 29, Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. The last show for the run and for Plasticene is 3:00 pm Sunday, April 1.
Make reservations at http://graphomania.eventbrite.com/
Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss wrote, “…be sure to catch ‘Graphomania,’ the riveting hourlong final production of unique, 17-year-old company, Plasticene. Playing through April 1 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division, it is a brainy, wholly mesmerizing exploration of our high-security, surveillance-ridden world, featuring superb performances by Mark Comiskey, Julia Neary, Brian Shaw and Cameron Peart…”
Chicago Theater Beat critic Lauren Whalen wrote, “Eric Leonardson’s sound design is at once naturalistic and apocalyptically creepy, incorporating live voiceover of a mysterious man in charge. The impressively physical cast has fantastic chemistry, working as a three-headed, barely-human unit one moment and distinguishing their characters’ unique personalities – with something as small as a piece of gum – the next….GRAPHOMANIA represents the best possible results of performers at play: an intriguingly ambiguous story that experiments with shadow, light, sound and movement both figurative and literal. If there’s a way to brightly portray a bleak theatre, Plasticene pulls it off. Fare thee well, experimental company. We will miss your imagination.”
AFTER SEVENTEEN YEARS, CHICAGO’S PIONEER PHYSICAL THEATER COMPANY
ANNOUNCES OUR FINAL PERFORMANCE PIECE, GRAPHOMANIAx, A WORLD PREMIERE ORIGINAL WORK, MARCH 17th THROUGH APRIL 1st AT THE CHOPIN THEATER DOWNSTAIRS FOR TEN PERFORMANCES ONLY!
Press Contact: Dexter Bullard email@example.com 773.960.9098
GRAPHOMANIAx is a theatrical examination of meaning, privacy and consequence in a paranoid world flooded with data. Plasticene’s performers gather, record, decode, struggle, and crunch information to save the state and themselves from unknown but imminent threat. Masters of scenic innovation, the company uses three rolling chalkboards, complex video projections, experimental live sound, and textured lighting, to build mysterious, visceral, and striking theater. The piece was workshopped as part of City of Chicago’s “In the Works” program at Millennium Park in 2011 with participation of performers Sharon Göpfert and director Paola Colletto.
GRAPHOMANIAx marks Plasticene’s final creation. The company and its mission will remain in existence, but will no longer create new performance work as a collective.
Saturday 3/17 Preview 7:30pm
Sunday 3/18 Preview 3:00pm
Monday 3/19 Opening 7:30pm PRESS INVITED – Please reserve at 773.960.9098 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 3/22 Performance 7:30pm
Friday 3/23 Performance 7:30pm
Saturday 3/24 Performance 7:30pm
Su 3/25 Performance 3:00pm
Thursday 3/29 Performance 7:30pm
Friday 3/30 Performance 7:30pm
Saturday 3/31 Performance 7:30pm
Su 4/1 Performance 3:00pm
Where:CHOPIN THEATRE, 1543 West Division, Chicago, IL 60642
tel 773-278-1500 / cell 773-396-2875 www.chopintheatre.com
Previews all seats $10 Performances $20 full price, $12 student rush half-hour before curtain, as available.
Make reservations at http://graphomania.eventbrite.com
More Info: 773.960.9098
Visit and “Like” Plasticene’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Plasticene
I’m happy to announce that I have been invited to present in the International Conference of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, “Ideologies and Ethics in the Uses and Abuses of Sound”, hosted by the University of Eastern Finland, Cultural Studies Department and the Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology (FSAE). The conference will happen on June 16-19, in Koli, Finland.
My presentation proposal concerns the recent activities of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE).
Confirmed invited and keynote speakers are (in alphabetical order):
Steven Feld, Charles Hirschkind, Bruce Johnson, Anahid Kassabian, Andra McCartney, R. Murray Schafer, Barry Truax and Hildegard Westerkamp. Continue reading
The 2005 Springboard video interview by Gretchen Hasse, was re-edited to 0ne minute for inclusion on the new DVD accompanying the new, expanded edition of Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking, by Nicolas Collins.
The new edition of my book, Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking, is out! Lots of new circuits and illustrations, more examples of artists’ designs, and a DVD with 87 1-minute video clips by hackers from all over the globe, as well as a series of step-by-step video tutorials by me.
Here’s a little reminder: on Saturday, May 2, at 3PM Quimby’s Bookstore (1854 W. North Avenue) is hosting a book release party. I’ll screen some video, sign books, and the Chicago Symphacking Orchestra (CSO) will perform.