"Metal matters - Heavy Metal als Kultur und Welt"

Die interdisziplinäre Tagung am 3. bis 5. Juni 2010 an der HBK Braunschweig, organisiert von Rolf F. Nohr und Herbert Schwaab

Anfang Juni 2010 hat die Tagung "Metal matters - Heavy Metal als Kultur und Welt" in Braunschweig versucht, eine Leerstelle der Kultur- und Medienwissenschaft mit auszufüllen und die Komplexität des Phänomens Metal herauszustellen. Dieser Blog bündelt die Perspektiven der Konferenz und versucht den dort interdisziplinär zusammengeführten Strom aus Ideen, Projekten und Perspektiven vorläufig fortzuführen.

Donnerstag, 20. Dezember 2012

CfP: 'Functional Sounds: Auditory Culture & Sound Concepts in Everyday Life'

When you turned on this computer you had to listen to disjointed system sounds, start up chimes, alert noises and auditory warning signals, perhaps accompanied by your favourite music in the background or on your headphones; this morning, when entering the building, you involuntarily set off the security alarm and the guards quickly materialized looking as if they would beat you up if you did not instantly produce your electronic identification card; as you made a cup of coffee in the kitchen at work or home, the automated (or humanly operated) coffee/espresso machine emanated a wide range of hissing, beeping and crumbling noises,
and while drinking it you read a newspaper article about sound torture; later, when you enter a subway station sounds announce almost any action taking place down there, together with
sounds from phones and game consoles; in bed at night you can’t sleep because of the annoying
sounds coming from the traffic outside.

In these and many other ways functional sounds are core elements in contemporary culture. The conference aims to show and discuss how functional sounds are taken up – as objects of study and as design practices – by artists, sound designers, architects and scholars of art and architecture, by those who study anthropology, musicology and sociology, and to what effect? Do functional sounds merely make our world more ‘functional’, more stable, controllable, and surveillable, or does a critical study of functional sounds have the potential to destabilize and reconfigure practices, discourses and disciplines? Presentations might touch upon the following questions:
• In what ways do functional sounds organize and regulate life, in what ways do they avoid regulation?
• In what ways and at which levels of consciousness do they inform everyday life for individuals and for smaller and larger groups?
• Can sounds be representative of sexes, genders, ethnicities and other categories of humans?
• Can everyday auditory cultures be regarded as semiotically coherent cultures, or do they work as large series or bundles of non-related signs?
• How do citizens think about the auditory culture(s); how do they verbalize it/them?
• In what ways do functional sounds create and monitor borders and how do they ignore and transgress borders?
• How do they heal and cause illness (tinnitus, nervous breakdowns, etc.)?
• How has sound been used as a weapon, how has it become a means of torture, a nuisance, or a tool of oppression?
• How do sounds afford, how do they inhibit?

1st international conference of the European Sound Studies Association
Inviting speakers from a range of geographical and disciplinary locations and involving practitioners as well as theorists, the conference asks how functional sounds have become and are still becoming an essential part of everyday culture and what its potentials are for new critical and inventive ideas for future research and artistic practice. The conference will focus on existing as well as emergent and cutting-edge approaches to
functional sound design, sonification, auditory culture, everyday soundscapes, artistic concepts
and popular culture. In particular, the conference will encourage presentations that include both theoretical and practical aspects and presentations that address everyday contexts within which sound - in its relation to media, technology, and the arts - is constitutive for new ways of thinking, listening, and becoming.
The conference also aims to examine, explore and critically engage with the issues and implications
created by the growing field of sound studies. The ubiquity of sound in everyday communication and our daily sonic environment is not a new phenomenon; but the study of non-verbal communication through sound has only recently gained more attention in the academic realm. As part of what has been termed an auditory turn (Meyer 2008), recognition of the research of Canadian and worldwide acoustic ecology since the 1960s and the more recently established auditory or sound studies (Bull/Back 2003, Cox/Warner 2004, Schulze 2008, Bijsterveld/Pinch 2011, Sterne 2012) has grown to become an integral part of a variety of fields of study.

Papers, presentations and lecture performances, as well as soundwalks, installations or audio
pieces are invited on any of the following 6 streams (detailed descriptions below):
• Stream I Methodologies of Sound in the Humanities
• Stream II Cultural Politics & Sonic Experience
• Stream III Sonic Artistic Practices & Research
• Stream IV Sound Design Practices
• Stream V Soundscapes of the Urban Future
• Stream VI Pop & Sound

This conference is organised and hosted by the DFG-funded research project Functional Sounds
at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. This research project explores how human beings experience mediatized, non-verbal auditory signs, so-called functional sounds – and how a design theory of auditory signs might be described in terms of a cultural theory.
The conference is also part of the Sound Studies Lab (also DFG-funded): a research environment
that invites young and experienced scholars and artists to do research on the sonic and sensory
aspects of individual lives and in heterogeneous societies, cultures and historical eras since
2011. The main research studio of the lab is currently located at the Institut für Kulturwissenschaft
at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Abstracts for papers, presentations and lecture performances, as well as for soundwalks, installations or audio pieces should be submitted electronically to:
by January 15, 2013.
Please use the submission form provided on:
to provide your contact details and abstract.
Abstracts should be max. 1.200 characters/200 words.
NOTE: Forms that do not contain all the required information will not enter the peer-review
process, and as such are not eligible to be part of the conference. The programme committee
will decide which papers belong to which streams but would very much like suggestions for most relevant stream (as listed in the form).
We will acknowledge receipt and respond to all paper proposals submitted.
We will get back to you with a concrete invitation by April 15, 2013.
For further details about the conference please visit:

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