© MEDIATE sep20_neworder2

Sep 20

The New Humanity Conference: The New Order at San Francisco Art Institute

Panel Discussions and presentations on the future of our sonic traditions, rituals, acoustics and storytelling. Co-sponsored by SwissNex San Francisco

Part Two of The New Humanity Conference focuses on new concepts and paradigms of community and culture. Panel discussions featuring Soundwave artists and musicians, and leading philosophers investigate the future of our sonic traditions, rituals, acoustics/acousmatics and storytelling—how we make sense of the physical/spiritual worlds and how this affects our current and future societies. With artist-audience interactive demonstrations and Q&A sessions for those wishing to learn more about the artists’ innovative work and creative process.

7:00p Presentations

EcoDomics” – Ignacio Valero (Associate Professor, California College of Art)
The emancipatory potential of Aesthetics, largely emptied of its sense-making and world-making significance, via highly speculative neoliberal art markets, is becoming a mere shadow of its self, often left literally hanging on the walls of the temples of finance and the hyper-mansions of the 1%. We will explore the idea of EcoDomics, as an attempt to come to our senses through an “aesthetic(s) of the common(s)”—A biopolitical art of living and making (in) common(s)

“Hearing Could Be Believing” – Paul Klein (Chair, Design & Technology, San Francisco Art Institute)
Klein will address the idea of constructing a “world symphony” of knowledge that extends beyond how visual mediums traditionally reinforce the assertion “seeing is believing.” While “hearing is believing” may be thought of as the seductive alternative, it really deals with the unsaid soundscape of the mind, the interface between the visual and the aural, which becomes a critique of the way we represent our social and political experience.

“A Quest for Inefficient Systems” – Laetitia Sonami (Sound Artist, Performer, Instructor SFAI)
Sonami questions the expansion of instruments which rely on existing behaviors as opposed to creating new ones. The instrument mirrors our interaction with the world, and one has to wonder why most instruments rely on more and more buttons and switches. How many more buttons does one need? Why not create inefficient systems which would require adaptive behaviors and a new apprehension of the world?

“Digital Culture and the Future Present” – Jake Levitas (Research Director, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts)
Digital culture explores applications of tools and media which are, by definition, continually changing and evolving. The nature of this work requires being conscious of its ephemeral nature while simultaneously seeking to create work which is lasting and timeless. San Francisco’s Gray Area Foundation for the Arts is a nonprofit dedicated to building social consciousness through digital culture – Levitas will review how GAFFTA’s work and community have continued to evolve since their founding in 2008, and discuss the intricacies of operating a cultural organization grounded in a shifting technological landscape.

8:45p Panel: The New Order: Architecting the Future Sonic

Artists lead us into new ways of thinking about the world around us. What new paradigms and traditions of sound practice, performance, artmaking and interaction can we inspire? How do new relationships to our physical and spiritual worlds affect current societies and those to come? How can artists activate in an overgrown technological, overstimulated world?

Panelists: Jacob Felix Heule (percussionist & musician), Danishta Rivero (sound artist & musician), Matt Stines (theater composer), Polly Moller (composer/improvisor) and Laetitia Sonami (sound artist).

Moderated by Tania Ketenjian (Journalist/Producer, The UnObserved, NPR, BBC World Service)


Ignacio Valero (Presenter)
Ignacio Valero is a current associate professor of Humanities and Sciences at CCA. He has also taught at the University of Madrid, University of the Andes, and Xavier University of Columbia. Ignacio was formerly with the International Center for Environmental Education, CIFCA, and the United Nations environment and development programs UNEP and UNDP. He was a senior associate with the Colombian Science Foundation, deputy director of Colombia’s Environmental Protection Agency, and a member of the presidential advisory council for the writing of the new Colombian constitution. Ignacio’s current interests include the political economy of the image, consumption, desire, and the society of the spectacle; environment, globalization, and the commons; and the aesthetic, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of “archaic modernity” in science fiction, anime, gender and sexual difference, mass media, and sociopolitical development. He is also interested in understanding practices leading to critical and creative pedagogies, and he is working on a poetry manuscript.

Jake Levitas (Presenter)

Jake Levitas is Research Director at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, where he manages GAFFTA’s leading research program dedicated to creative applications of technology. This program centers on exploring new applications of digital art and media, as well as uses of technology to address key urban issues such as sustainability, transportation, art, public health, and community engagement with a wide array of partners and stakeholders. As a designer and organizer, his work has been featured in The New York Times, The Associated Press, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mashable, GOOD, Fast Company, Design Observer, The Atlantic Cities, and other domestic and international outlets. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Economics from Washington University in St. Louis, and has taken postgraduate classes in Geographic Information Systems and Science from Kingston University London.

Paul Klein (Presenter)
Paul Klein is Chair of the Design and Technology department at the San Francisco Art Institute, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. His teaching and collaborative studio practices foster understandings of how viewers, technology, and society ultimately create meaning in specific and cross-cultural contexts. Current projects explore the networked cultural practices of spectatorship, identity, and xenophobia (www.spectatormuseum.org, www.spectatormuseum.net/ particularuniversalisms). He was an artist-in-residence at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, CA, awarded an NEH Summer Institute residency in Italy for 2006, and an SFAI faculty research grant in 2007 and 2010. During 2008 his work was included in “In Transition Russia 2008: Cultural Identities in the Age of Transnational and Transcultural Flux,” National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA). Klein is a Fellow for the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability and a member of the organizing and project review committee for Computer Art Congress 3: PostDigital Art that will be convened from November 26-28 2012 in Paris, France.

Laetitia Sonami

Laetitia Sonami incorporates music and spoken word with technology and improvisation, also utilizing an instrument made out of an elbow-length formal glove fitted with sensors that allow her to manipulate electronic sounds. Although born in France in 1957, Sonami has lived in the U.S. since 1975. The late ’90s brought increased recognition for Sonami and her electronic pursuits, as she performed around the world at a number of major avant-garde festivals as well as in the American Embassy’s Interlink Festival. She has collaborated with Lou Mazzolli, Donald Swearingen, and Visual Brains, among others.

Jacob Felix Heule 
Jacob Felix Heule is a percussionist and electronic musician focused on sound-oriented improvisation following the traditions of electro-acoustic improv, noise, and 20th-century composition. Heule founded the acoustic grind duo Ettrick, and has worked extensively with double bassist Tony Dryer in a variety of groups such as Wormses and Addleds. His sound project Voicehandler with Danishta Rivero explores innovative music inspired by the minds of Burroughs and Borges and Norwegian myths and Venezuela creation stories.

Danishta Rivero
Rivero is a musician, composer and sound artist who performs solo improvisations on the Hydrophonium, a water-based electro-acoustic percussion instrument, with which she has toured the Pacific NW. Rivero also does vocals and digital processing in Blood Wedding. She was lead vocalist of progressive metal band Aghora (1997-2006) and co-founded Optiphonal Wonder Machine, a multimedia collaboration with Jennifer Rannells. Her sound project Voicehandler with Jacob Felix Heule explores innovative music inspired by the minds of Burroughs and Borges and Norwegian myths and Venezuela creation stories.

Matt Stines (Panelist)

Matt Stines is a Bay Area theater composer, sound designer, musician, and teacher. He has worked with notable Bay Area companies and organizations such as Shotgun Players, SF Playhouse, A.C.T.’s MFA Program, New Conservatory, Cutting Ball Theatre, Center Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Kronos Quartet, and SF Sketchfest. Stines’ compositions and designs have also been heard in the 2011 Prague Quadrennial and FringeNYC. When he is not making noises for plays, he teaches and facilitates sound design at SF State, creating possibilities for students to apply the weird sounds in their heads to stage action.

Polly Moller

Polly Moller is a composer, performer, improviser, writer, and underground radio host based in Oakland, California, USA. She creates sound-art rituals through composition and improvisation on earth-based storylines, natural phenomena, and structures from the Western occult tradition. Her chamber music scores are available from ALRY Publications. She is one of a band of composers called Reconnaissance Fly (and their alter ego, the Cardiacs tribute band ReCardiacs Fly), a Sequenza21 contributing editor, and hosts DJ Post-Pink’s Innerworld on KUSF in Exile/San Francisco Community Radio.

Tania Ketenjian (Panel Moderator)
Tania Ketenjian is a journalist, documentarian and sound artist. She is the co-founder and editor in chief of the Radio Magazine The [Un]Observed which selects and presents some of the best radio and audio from around the world. As a journalist, she has produced for PRI’s Studio 360, APM’s Weekend America, NPR’s Day to Day and PRI’s and BBC’s The World. Internationally, she has worked with the BBC and the BBC World Service in England, CBC in Canada, ABC in Australia and RTE in Ireland. She has written for Paper Magazine, Dazed and Confused, The Times UK and Icon Magazine. Most recently she has begun producing work for Monocle 24, a new radio initiative from Moncocle Magazine. She also started Sound Made Public, a production house creating podcasts for companies and organizations to help them tell their stories. She is based in San Francisco with her family, spending time in both New York and London.