Oscillations Workshop: Sonic Inquiries and Practices

11-14 September 2023

Attuned to trans-hemispheric engagements in sound and knowledge production, the Akademie der Künste, the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, and Deutschlandfunk Kultur are pleased to announce the start of a joint project, OSCILLATIONS: Sonic Inquiries and Practices, and an open call for artist residency applications from sound artists, scholars and cultural practitioners based in southern Africa.

Under the sign of dialogue, exchange and cooperation, OSCILLATIONS aims to support artist residencies; sonic installations and exhibitions; listening and reading sessions; broadcast and podcast content; and workshops and archive experiments in Berlin, Cape Town and cyberspace. With OSCILLATIONS, the interplay of sound and knowledge production very much informs the act of critical listening. The project prompts participating artists and audiences both in South Africa and Germany to reassess their modes of aesthetic and informative auditory perception. It encourages participants to take pleasure in listening to unfamiliar sound materials, to gather knowledge through sonic translation, and to question inherited assumptions about cultural and economic hegemony which remain key to a critical sonic practice.

To counteract stereotypical and received views on and about Africa – as a physical geography open to all manner of exploitative extraction – OSCILLATIONS will bring attention to the ways in which sound and the sonic might build an ethics and aesthetics of care and of freedom.  Exemplary of shifts in discourse, and trans-hemispheric relations, OSCILLATIONS attends to how politics, power and reimagined concepts of agency interlock with the materialities of sound – as object, with sonic artistic practice – as knowing and with sounds’ aesthetic histories – as a way to develop shared conceptual vocabularies and intellectual capacities.

Oscillations is a project by Akademie der Künste (Berlin) Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town) and Deutschlandfunk Kultur / Klangkunst (Berlin). Oscillations is funded by the TURN2 Fund of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). Funded by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media). Supported by the DAAD Arts & Media Program, Kulturstiftung Schloss Wiepersdorf and the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences in South Africa.