Practicum – A New Sonic Acts Programme

Friday 11 March 18:21

Getting our hands, eyes and ears dirty, Practicum is a new yearly programme organised by Sonic Acts that focuses on applied knowledge, making from research and learning together. It takes the form of a series of workshops, reading and listening groups, and excursions taking place from March to October 2022 in Amsterdam and online. Open to all, these gatherings are artist-led and emphasise collaborative, hands-on learning: attuning and creating together in ways that entangle modes of perception, production and knowledge-creation. Practicum means making equal participants in anti-nuclear activism, spatial sound, listening and thinking sonically, writing speculative stories or reading together. Though thematically varied, most workshops address ecological concerns, such as making synthesisers from e-waste, (deep) reading about climate change in relation to different approaches to time, or making radioactive pollution visible. Each workshop will feature a separate open call with a different set of parameters. Below is a short overview of the first workshops in the Practicum series.

Nuclear Polders by Agnès Villette & Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou

Friday 20 May from 15:00 at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam Nuclear energy was recently labelled as green energy by the EU, yet several ageing nuclear infrastructures are threatened by climate change. As shorelines creep inland and weather conditions worsen, the fragility of these structures comes to the fore. On the coasts of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, lie three nuclear power stations – Gravelines, Doel, Borsselle – that share the mutable soil of the polder landscape. Nuclear Polders is a project that investigates entanglements at play in these locations, beginning with a workshop on nuclear activism and visual culture.

Tangle Eye: Worldbuilding with Mixtapes by Arjuna Neuman

Tuesday 31 May from 18:00 to 20:00, online Thursday 2 June from 16:00 to 18:00 & 18:30 to 21:30, online [Applications now closed] Making mixtapes is a practice of untrained amateurs (often for sharing between lovers), but it is also the medium of bedroom producers through to label-produced pop artists. Because of this wide reach, mixtapes have the potential to carry deeply subversive and critical content to unlikely audiences. Together we will create a collective mixtape that explores the ecological unconscious of contemporary Black music. Along the way we will learn some basic audio editing skills, as well as how to start thinking/speculating sonically.

Supercuts: Sabotage by Montage by Sam Lavigne

Thursday 9 June from 16:00 to 19:00, online [Applications now closed] Sam Lavigne is an artist and educator whose work deals with data, surveillance, cops, natural language processing and automation. Combining aspects of data journalism, conceptual art and hoarding, this online workshop offers a methodology to make sense of a world in which everything we do is mediated by internet companies. It focuses on scrapism or the practice of web scraping for artistic, emotional and critical ends.

DIY E-Waste Analogue Synthesiser by Mina Kim

18 June, online/offline Mina Kim is an artist, researcher and performer based in the Netherlands and South Korea, who repurposes discarded media technology. Participants will join her in coexisting with the digital debris from our digital society and in exploring its relationship to the environment. This starts with making a simple circuit that connects e-waste together to create unique e-sounds and results in an analogue synthesiser made out of electronic garbage.

Spatial Sound by Ji Youn Kang

Details to be confirmed A composer, sound artist and teacher at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague, Ji Youn Kang presents a workshop on spatial sound. The workshop includes hands-on activities together with deep listening sessions and discussions – addressing both theoretical and practice-based aspects. It will cover some technical ground, but also explore artistic applications for fixed media and live electronic music composition.


Rest Assured by MELT – Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr

30 April & 14 May, online Includes closed captions & an ISL Interpreter Sonic Acts’ Overexposed residents MELT present a reading group on non-normative ways of experiencing, theorising, materialising, subverting and being in time. Taking place over two online meetings, plus informal contact in between over Signal, Rest Assured invites participants to rest – to feel assured in their need to rest, to rest their bodies alongside some texts, and unfold what emerges together.

The Story-Telling Eel-Orgy: Writing as an Aquatic Intercourse by Noam Youngrak Son

26 March, offline at W139 and online This ‘story-telling orgy’ turns participants into freshwater eels gathered in the Sargasso Sea to have sex. Taking inspiration from the complex and enduringly obscure reproductive cycle of eels, the workshop involves collaborative and generative writing processes, with participants producing short stories about water that will be combined into a riso-printed zine.

When I Sound, I am Speaking – Als ik klink, dan spreek ik by Polina Medvedeva & Andreas Kühne

5 & 12 April, IMC Weekendschool Aimed at young adolescents, the workshop focuses on the sense of listening as a starting point for experimental sound creation. It follows the framework of the Erasmus+ project Sound Experiments – New Approaches to Non-formal Learning in Music, and is organised in collaboration with the IMC Weekendschool in Amsterdam.

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