The interdisciplinary situation of sound art triggers questions about its defining features and how we decide which artifacts belong in this field of art.

Bill Fontana, a pioneer of sound art, believed that sound as a medium had been lost in our culture. Now sound art is returning to its rightful position. The changing role of sound in contemporary art gives rise to many research questions. The nature of sound art is hybrid, combining forms and notions from different fields of art. It is an attempt to overcome the supremacy of the visual in art. The difficulties in defining the identity of an artwork arise when its most basic features are supposed to be singled out. Sound art is an artistic activity that escapes the sphere of music while avoiding the categories describing the visual arts.

Sarah Van Sonsbeeck, the first theorist of sound art, says that the term pertains to all activities connected with sound: “I do not actually see a limit to what is possible to do under that term, but think it is nevertheless important to have that term. That is not a contradiction but rather the more open and multifaceted the work done the more important is the disciplinary focus and marking out. (…) Sound is always in danger of being sublimated to other disciplines, its invisible nature makes it a natural interdisciplinary second (…).” So what is sound art and its position in contemporary art?

Olga Janowska is a journalist and editor who for a number of years has been associated with the Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk.

#lecturesondeckchairs #roofing #coolingdowninthesun

In June and July, we invite you to a series of discussions, lectures and meetings taking place in a lazy summer atmosphere. Relax in the sun while reclining in deckchairs and consuming food for thought – this is our proposal for summer in the city.