Brandon LaBelle








Dreams of a Sovereign Citizen

developed as part of Synsmaskin, artistic research project


Athens / The Sonic Agent (meet me in the sonic commons)  

Thursday, April 20, 18:00

EDW cultural center
Profitou Daniil 18

In collaboration with Achilleas Chariskos, Myrto Grapsa and Ioanna Apostolou.

The opening that listening provokes; the pause, the gap between – this sound that passes by and through, that causes things to vibrate: the shimmering and the agitation that moves over and through the body.

It is always expanding and contracting, this sound, sending one’s listening toward distances and horizons, and then back, to those that speak, or these things that touch and are felt.

Might listening create the conditions for common territories? For communities in movement?

The movement that sound is, and that moves this listening; movements over movements, and that opens toward others, things, myself, this self: relations – this sound that puts things into relation. In listening, I am no longer only myself; others move in, to inhabit the opening listening creates; to inhabit this body, as an expanded sharing, an oscillation: listening is always listening to someone or something, the making of: a vibration, an echo, an interruption – for entanglement and intermingling, for shared breath and erotic frictions.

The listening that moves me, and that moves things toward me.

The work considers sound as the basis for new social formations, reflecting on listening as a means for supporting contemporary political struggle. This is developed through speculations on the topic of sonic agency and the acoustics of resistance. What kinds of coalitional frameworks and social solidarities might sound and listening enable? Are there specific insurrectionary modalities to which sound is particularly conducive? Sonic agency is deployed as a speculative guide for imagining forms of emancipatory practices. This is elaborated through considering The Invisible, The Overheard, The Itinerant and The Weak as sonic figures enabling interruptions, secrecy, withdrawal and co-sounding. These figures, or agents, are used to deepen sonic thinking and imagination, especially for moving us from the major narratives of political crisis and disenfranchisement toward new expressions of public power and earthly responsibility.

The work is based on audio-video recordings produced on site in Athens in collaboration with participants. Exploring sound and movement, listening and location, the recordings capture “situational choreographies” undertaken in response to specific sites. Integrating portable projectors, participants search for ways to gather in the city, throwing images and sounds across its social milieu and opening up vistas onto a sonic commons.