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FREE
Registration recommended.


What is Sound Scene?

Sound Scene is the Washington, D.C. region’s premier, interactive sound and multi-sensory arts festival.

It is a free, all-ages celebration of sonic and sensory arts featuring artists from Washington, D.C. and around the world.

Since 2007, Sound Scene has been curated and produced by the DC Listening Lounge. It is presented in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden with support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.


Sound Scene 2023: After The End

What comes after “After The End?” Through interactive art installations, live performances and small group workshops, audiences may consider a future after the end of patriarchy, colonialism, ableism, climate catastrophe or just after breaking a habit or retiring a particular turn of phrase. Whatever shape the phoenix takes as it rises, audiences are sure to take new inspiration with them after this one-of-a-kind interactive art festival held at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Sound Scene invites audiences to engage with this theme through:

  • Interactive audio art installations
  • Small group workshops
  • Live performances

This festival is free and open to the public; RSVP optional but appreciated.


About The DC Listening Lounge + Sound Scene

Born in 2004, the DC Listening Lounge (DCLL) is a grassroots, all-volunteer audio arts collective that curates Sound Scene. DCLL also facilitates monthly listening sessions, audio field trips, and workshops.

Sound Scene is DCLL’s signature event. It is a free, all-ages, interactive audio art festival that draws thousands to the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Sound Scene celebrates the sonic magnetism of Washington, DC and has featured artists from Michigan, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Spain, Italy, India, Armenia, South Korea, Germany, and elsewhere.

Sound Scene is made possible with generous support from the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the world’s best volunteers!


ONGOING PROJECTS
10 am – 5:30 pm

PLAZA

Overview, (Interactive installation) The Brayver Concern (James Garver and Rebecca Bray)

Astronauts report feeling profound grief and awe about earth when seeing it from space. Psychologists call this phenomenon “the overview effect.” Overview is an interactive installation that invites audiences to put orbs onto their heads. The orbs block participants from seeing and hearing the room around them in ways that we’re used to, and instead offers a perspective much higher than their eyes, and through a small screen. There are speakers in the orb delivering sounds to the participant that are filtered versions of the live sounds present in the space. There are microphones in each orb, and participants can hear each other breathe and speak. With senses distorted, listening to each other in new ways, participants are invited to walk around, sit, or stand and reconsider their relationship to their body and the space around them. The artists hope that when the orbs are removed the “familiar” world sounds and looks different and an interconnected future may be envisioned in new ways.

Before the Bulldozers (Interactive installation), Walking Cinema + Anacostia Community Museum

Before the Bulldozers is an audio and augmented reality journey exploring the history of the redevelopment of the Southwest neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Using GPS, this Walking Cinema app guides you from site to site through D.C.’s Southwest neighborhood, telling the story of the country’s first large-scale urban renewal project—a project that uprooted 23,000 people and knocked down nearly 5,000 buildings to create an entirely new neighborhood. Through the immersive augmented reality features, visitors see what the neighborhood looked like in the 1950s and ’60s, and learn first-hand how systemic issues like racism, class struggle, and power structure impact those who live and work in the community, then and now.

Speaking and Listening with Sound Objects (Interactive installation) Katya Rozanova, Susan Jahoda

Speaking and Listening with Sound Objects asks: how do we live besides sentient and non-sentient others? What are the implications of being in a non-hierarchical relationship with each other, of living beside? Do technological, human, or natural systems need to be “fully known” (dissected, reduced, assimilated, etc.) for nourishing exchanges to happen? The project aims to create an environment where participants can question assumptions about hierarchies and interdependence with nonhuman others, practice deep listening, and engage in horizontal collaboration. Anyone encountering Speaking and Listening with Sound Objects is invited to a collaborative, improvisational jam session with these anti-instruments. Each is made from a variety of organic materials, is tactile, a semi-autonomous ecosystem, that functions collaboratively and whose behavior evolves over time. Each object determines how it relates to external stimuli, whether it be sounds from other objects or human input (touch, sound, proximity). Made possible with support for Goethe-Institut DC.

 

LEVEL 2

Dark Matters, (Interactive installation), Johann Diedrick

Dark Matters is an interactive web experience that spotlights the absence of Black speech in data sets that are used to train voice interface systems like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. This creates new forms of racial exclusion and bias as Black speech, previously code switching for white ears, is now forced to code switch for “AI ears”. Utilizing 3D modeling, spatialized sound design, and storytelling, the project challenges our communities to grapple with racism and inequity through speech and the spoken word, and how AI systems underserve Black communities.

Secret Reception (Interactive installation), Kristine Diekman, Ben Pagac

Secret Reception combines art and bioacoustics to creatively engage the public in questions about sound reception in more-than-human worlds. This sonic art installation offers new paradigms for hearing through the design of haptic objects and tactile interfaces that use vibration to transmit sonic information. Drawing on scientific research that examines how insects detect sound through body parts, we transpose insect hearing to the human listening experience using sonic impulses that emulate the way insects receive them. The project imaginatively addresses the theme, After the End, by suggesting a speculative future that embraces more-than-human communication modalities beyond what we are familiar with.

Control (Interactive installation), Tansy Xiao

This gesture-controlled interactive video choir is constructed of 16 clips each featuring mezzo-soprano Elisa Sutherland’s mouth singing to a graphic score that directly reflects the high and low of a significant stock chart from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to 2022. The score includes charts of typical YOLO investing strategy stocks (Gamestop, AMC), individual opportunists trying to push change in the economy, monopolistic corporations that raise ethical concerns (Facebook, Amazon) and pharmaceutical companies that profited from the pandemic (Pfizer, Moderna). The audience experiences a fake sense of control of the choir by moving their bodies to the motion capturing webcam –but is control real? This project is a satire of capitalism and a bitter laugh at the awkward economic state that a many people found themselves in post-pandemic. This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

 

LEVEL 3

Collecting Fragments of Time (Interactive installation), Emily Francisco

Collecting Fragments of Time is a series of recordings involving decommissioned objects transfigured into instruments that pull live radio frequencies from the air. These recordings are being compiled to create an archive of fragmented time. The Archive of Fragmented Time will exist as a physical drive containing images and video files in addition to existing in various forms on the internet. Once compiled, the archive along with the Trans-Harmonium – a DIY clock radio synth – will be donated to an organization or institution committed to keeping the project alive by loaning out the instrument and expanding the archive.

Embodied Music Club, (Interactive installation) Jay Afrisando

How does music emerge after the end of ableism, audism, visualism, and colonizing & authoritarian music practices? Through Embodied Music Club, visitors will experience tactile, aural, and visual music-making. This work is an invitation to activate the whole body as a listening tool, center the body in music-making, and champion empathetic-inclusive experiences that situate music in shared listening and complex interspecies relationships.

Brittle Geometries/Delicate Feedbacks, (Interactive Installation), Carolyn Zaldivar Snow, Peter Green

Inspired by the 1989 New Yorker essay The End of Nature this installation invites the viewer to experience a delicate and brittle end through the sounds of glacial dissipation and melt. Sounds and graphic scores were sourced from polar explorers, composers, climbers, and musicians. Is there a scaling back of this end? Together, can we rewind and slow the pace through our actions? Will we advance the ending through our collective choices?

DisOrgan (Interactive installation), Poiesis Productions, Michael Joseph McDonald

What does disability sound like after pathology? DisOrgan is an interactive sound sculpture which helps us hear disability differently. It brings forth the sound of the cultural, material, and human contributions that disability has offered self and the world. Consisting of several theremin-like pipes, DisOrgan can be played without any musical experience. Participants hover a hand above the pipes to change the musical behaviors. There are two types of pipes: instrumental pipes and choral pipes. The instrumental pipes contain music generated from over 50 objects that have their origin in disability: typewriters, keyboards, bendy straws, telephones, the LP record, electric toothbrushes, emails etc. The choral pipes contain the sung voices of people around the world who carry different disability diagnoses.

Dung Dakr Cloak (Interactive installation), EJTECH

Touch and explore the textile in order to generate a unique soundscape, shaped by the gestures and delicate tactile wandering throughout the woven fractal interface. Dungh-Dakr Cloak is a soft interface for intuitive musical interactions. It is fractal tapestry augmented in order to create an intimate explorative material experience. Textiles as the metaphor that strings together the macrocosm and microcosm, the interwoven reflection of interpersonal relationships, the linking of vertices and edges to create a network, our second skin and the next interface for human-computer interactions.

Through the evolution of the cosmos, we are the story of matter being told to itself. Growth and pattern are innate in matter. Without a designer, matter continuously shapes itself into the infinite fractal tapestry of our universe – every pebble, every mountain, every life. 

Dung Dakr Cloak is developed within the Innovation Center of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary (MOME-IK). This work is part of the ongoing research on new augmented materials, specifically soft interfaces as an intuitive, non-intrusive platform between digital environments and the physical world. 

 


SATURDAY SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES

10 AM
Level 3, Lerner Room, Workshop: Create a Soundtrack for Koko’s Earth Control, with Tina Chancey + HESPERUS

Koko’s Earth Control is a silent, silly-serious, six-minute Max Fleischer cartoon from 1928 starring Koko the Clown and Fitz the Dog. One day they come across the “Control of Earth” station and mischievous Fitz pulls a lever that makes the world come to an end. As it shuts down, all sorts of chaos ensues! What follows is part scary, part funny and up to you to orchestrate! Using found objects from the HERPERUS pantry and your creativity, together we plan, rehearse and perform a live soundtrack for Koko’s Earth Control. Free, all-ages, registration encouraged. Duration: 30 minutes

11 AM
Level 3, Lerner Room, Workshop: DOWM, “What was old sounds new again.” with Stefan Tiefengraber
Three walkmans, three effect pedals, two mixers, a mini-synthesizer, microphones and several feedback loops create a noise-scape that ends in silence and emptiness. In this workshop, Stefan Tiefengraber extends the predefined functions of the used devices (after their end) through experimentation and unconventional applications. In this way he achieves new and unpredictable results. This performance is made possible with support from the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington. Duration: 30 minutes

11 AM
Plaza, Workshop: A Jamaican Estuary Listening Experience with Marva Shand-McIntosh
At the end of a river, sits an estuary– the area where the river flows into the sea. This listening experience is inspired by the nature sounds of a shallow, intimate estuary that borders St. Mary and St. Ann in Jamaica. Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and among the vulnerable. Join this guided listening experience to explore what comes after the end. Duration: 30 minutes

 

12 PM
Plaza, Workshop: Synth Picnic with Ash Farrand+ Carolyn Zalidivar Snow 

Synth Picnic is a response to the isolation felt by many musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic lock downs. Navigating venue closures, concert cancellations, and public health concerns, we increasingly turned to public parks for community connection and creative music making. Synth picnics are outdoor improvisational gatherings with shared gear and sounds. Come give a synth a try! Free, all-ages. Registration encouraged but not required. Feel free to join us anytime. No musical experience required and all instruments will be provided on-site. Duration: 30 minutes

 

12 PM
Level 3, Lerner Room, Workshop: Planning for After the End with Jordan Gass-Pooré

Planning For After The End brings communities closer to one another by empowering them to tell and share their own stories about end-of-life planning. In this workshop, participants will be given the training and tools to share and express their relationship with death and their plans for what happens “after the end” in their own words. Participants learn to harness the power of storytelling to generate meaningful conversations about their funeral and burial wishes. This workshop will also introduce the digital tools available to turn this information into audio content that can be shared with their family, friends, and the public. Finished works may be featured on the Local Switchboard NYC website and major podcast platforms (optional release form available on-site). Workshop is free and registration is encouraged but not required. May not be appropriate for young kids. Children should be accompanied by adult. Duration: 45 mins

 

1PM
Plaza, Workshop: Speaking and Listening with Sound objects with Katya Rozanova and Susan Jahoda

Speaking and Listening with Sound Objects asks: how do we live besides sentient and non-sentient others? What are the implications of being in a non-hierarchical relationship with each other, of living beside? Do technological, human, or natural systems need to be “fully known” (dissected, reduced, assimilated, etc.) for nourishing exchanges to happen? The project aims to create an environment where participants can question assumptions about hierarchies and interdependence with nonhuman others, practice deep listening, and engage in horizontal collaboration. Anyone encountering Speaking and Listening with Sound Objects is invited to a collaborative, improvisational jam session with these anti-instruments. Each is made from a variety of organic materials, is tactile, a semi-autonomous ecosystem, that functions collaboratively and whose behavior evolves over time. Each object determines how it relates to external stimuli, whether it be sounds from other objects or human input (touch, sound, proximity). Workshop. Saturday June 3, 1PM. Free, all-ages, registration encouraged. Duration: 30 minutes

 

1 PM
Level 3, Lerner Room, Workshop: Create a Soundtrack for Koko’s Earth Control, with Tina Chancey + HESPERUS

 Koko’s Earth Control is a silent, silly-serious, six-minute Max Fleischer cartoon from 1928 starring Koko the Clown and Fitz the Dog. One day they come across the “Control of Earth” station and mischievous Fitz pulls a lever that makes the world come to an end. As it shuts down, all sorts of chaos ensues! What follows is part scary, part funny and up to you to orchestrate! Using found objects from the HERPERUS pantry and your creativity, together we plan, rehearse and perform a live soundtrack for Koko’s Earth Control. Free, all-ages, registration encouraged. Duration: 30 minutes

 

2 PM
Level 3, Participatory Performance: Embodied Music Club with Jay Afrisando

Participate in this fun, cozy participatory performance regardless of your bodily and musical ability. Grab a seat (or stand if you’d like). Enjoy reading the tactile graphic scores/notations through touch and interpret the scores using any instrument (for example, voice or sign language) in any manner. There is no right or wrong in reading and interpreting the scores. More detailed instructions will be delivered during the performance. Free, all-ages, registration encouraged. Duration: 30 minutes

 

3 PM
Level 3, Lerner Room, Workshop: Planning for After the End with Jordan Gass-Pooré

Planning For After The End brings communities closer to one another by empowering them to tell and share their own stories about end-of-life planning. In this workshop, participants will be given the training and tools to share and express their relationship with death and their plans for what happens “after the end” in their own words. Participants learn to harness the power of storytelling to generate meaningful conversations about their funeral and burial wishes. This workshop will also introduce the digital tools available to turn this information into audio content that can be shared with their family, friends, and the public. Finished works may be featured on the Local Switchboard NYC website and major podcast platforms (optional release form available on-site). Workshop is free and registration is encouraged but not required. May not be appropriate for young kids. Children should be accompanied by adult. Duration: 45 minutes

 

3 PM
Plaza, Workshop: Synth Picnic with Ash Farrand+ Carolyn Zalidivar Snow 

Synth Picnic is a response to the isolation felt by many musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic lock downs. Navigating venue closures, concert cancellations, and public health concerns, we increasingly turned to public parks for community connection and creative music making. Synth picnics are outdoor improvisational gatherings with shared gear and sounds. Come give a synth a try! Free, all-ages. Registration encouraged but not required. Feel free to join us anytime. No musical experience required and all instruments will be provided on-site. Duration: 30 minutes

 


SUNDAY SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES

10 AM
Plaza, Workshop: Synth Picnic with Ash Farrand+ Carolyn Zalidivar Snow 

Synth Picnic is a response to the isolation felt by many musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic lock downs. Navigating venue closures, concert cancellations, and public health concerns, we increasingly turned to public parks for community connection and creative music making. Synth picnics are outdoor improvisational gatherings with shared gear and sounds. Come give a synth a try! Free, all-ages. Registration encouraged but not required. Feel free to join us anytime. No musical experience required and all instruments will be provided on-site. Duration: 30 minutes

 

10AM-12 PM
Level 3, Lerner Room, Workshop: Create a Soundtrack for Koko’s Earth Control, with Tina Chancey + HESPERUS

Koko’s Earth Control is a silent, silly-serious, six-minute Max Fleischer cartoon from 1928 starring Koko the Clown and Fitz the Dog. One day they come across the “Control of Earth” station and mischievous Fitz pulls a lever that makes the world come to an end. As it shuts down, all sorts of chaos ensues! What follows is part scary, part funny and up to you to orchestrate! Using found objects from the HERPERUS pantry and your creativity, together we plan, rehearse and perform a live soundtrack for Koko’s Earth Control. Free, all-ages, registration encouraged. Duration: 30 minutes (repeating)

11 AM
Plaza, Workshop: A Jamaican Estuary Listening Experience with Marva Shand-McIntosh
At the end of a river, sits an estuary– the area where the river flows into the sea. This listening experience is inspired by the nature sounds of a shallow, intimate estuary that borders St. Mary and St. Ann in Jamaica. Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and among the vulnerable. Join this guided listening experience to explore what comes after the end. Duration: 30 minutes

 

11 AM
Plaza, Live Performance: The Wedding Gift with Lisette Alvarez

A performance of oral storytelling in the style of a live radio drama: Three brothers, each as riotous as the next, are tasked with protecting a special gift from their recently deceased grandmother; a pair of magical dice made to bless a newly married couple with good fortune and marital bliss. The night before their sister’s wedding, their own partying distracts them and an uninvited guest makes off with the gift. Will the brothers three be able to find the thief in time, or will their failure to retrieve the precious heirloom doom their sister’s marriage? This story invites you to listen to the ways generational cycles continue, and the gifts that can be offered even “after the end.”


12 PM
Plaza, Live Performance: It’s So Hard to Talk to You, with Sifu Sun

Inspired by the struggle of acclimating after giving birth and becoming a single mother, It’s So Hard to Talk to You is a reflection of what is lost and gained through motherhood. The artist writes, “Before baby was born, I was told to prepare for my death, the end of all that I know, so in that this performance is an attempt to further repair the disconnections caused by that medical professional and my own personal traumas. Giving birth has given me the chance to re-parent the self while parenting a child.”

 

1 PM
Plaza, Live Performance: Jitr จิตร with elekhlekha (Nitcha Fame Tothong and Kengchakaj Kengkarnka)

Jitr จิตร uses computer programing, Southeast Asia’s sound cultures, historical research, historical archive footage and sounds, and generative visual art to reconcile the lost connection of Southeast Asia’s shared heritage. Jitr จิตร is a speculative imaginary electronics ensemble performative live coding audio-visual. Imagine an alternative future where we can move forward with care. The project explores how we might unlearn and situate historical knowledge in a new context by reshaping it and making it relevant again using new media and algorithms.

 

2 PM
Level 3, Participatory Performance: Embodied Music Club with Jay Afrisando

Participate in this fun, cozy participatory performance regardless of your bodily and musical ability. Grab a seat (or stand if you’d like). Enjoy reading the tactile graphic scores/notations through touch and interpret the scores using any instrument (for example, voice or sign language) in any manner. There is no right or wrong in reading and interpreting the scores. More detailed instructions will be delivered during the performance. Free, all-ages, registration encouraged. Duration: 30 minutes

 

2 PM
Plaza, Live Performance: DOWM, with Stefan Teifengraber

Three walkmans, three effect pedals, two mixers, a mini-synthesizer, microphones and several feedback loops create a noise-scape that ends in silence and emptiness. In this project, Tiefengraber refers to his artistic method of working, which he implements not only in performances but also in his installation projects. He extends the predefined functions of the used devices by experimenting with them and using unconventional applications. With this way he achieves new and unpredictable results. This performance is made possible with support from the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington.

 

2:30 PM
Plaza, Workshop: DOWM, “What was old sounds new again.” with Stefan Tiefengraber
Join artist Stefan Tiefengraber for a closer understanding of how DOWM is produced and performed. Try out some of the instruments that manifest Tiefengraber’s unique sounds. This performance is made possible with support from the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington. Duration: 30 minutes

Details

Date:
June 3, 2023
Time:
10:00 am–5:30 pm
Series:
Event Category:

Venue

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20560 United States
+ Google Map
Phone
202-633-1000
View Venue Website

Organizer

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Phone
202-633-1000
Email
HirshhornExperience@si.edu
View Organizer Website