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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Sonic Infrastructure (ArtPractical.com)

The imminent future of San Francisco's role in the global sonic arts

I have written an essay about the growing prominence of San Francisco as a provider of sonic-arts infrastructure services. It appears, for free reading online, at the journal artpractical.com.

The essay is part of an issue devoted to sound, which includes an introduction by Tess Thackara (who invited me to contribute), an interview with Paul DeMarinis by Renny Pritikin, a discussion between artists Joshua Churchill and Chris Duncan, Matt Sussman on Infrasound, Liz Glass on the Tape Music Center, an interview with Jacqueline Gordon by Ellen Tani, a profile of Ethan Rose by Bean Gilsdorf, a discussion about the forthcoming Invisible Relics exhibit at Park Life (parklifestore.com, a gallery in the San Francisco neighborhood I have long called home: the Richmond District), and an essay by Aaron Harbour drawing from his experience as a curator and DJ.

For my piece, titled “Sonic Infrastructure,” I use three examples of individuals and organizations whose work in sound art involves providing technology to artists and institutions to realize their ideas. I interviewed Shane Myrbeck (shanemyrbeck.com) about his work at Arup (and his own art) and Barry Threw (barrythrew.com) about his work as a solo developer (which includes developing Oval‘s OvalDNA software, a screenshot of which appears up top) and at Obscura Digital. And I also touched on Scott Snibbe‘s substantial contributions (snibbe.com), such as his work on Björk‘s Biophilia apps.

Read the essay, “Sonic Infrastructure,” at artpractical.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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