Dirty Ear Report reviews the activities of the Dirty Ear Forum—a research platform focusing on contemporary sound studies and sound art, and the diversity of approaches surrounding its practice and thinking. Drawing on from the researches carried out during the first edition held at Errant Bodies Project Space in Berlin, this first issue gathers contributions investigating sound as a social material.
Dirty Ear Report #01 documents a unique gathering of leading sound artists and theorists working in the fields of radio art, field recording practices, noise, real-time work, voice and site specific sound. The first in the series of the Dirty Ear Forum, an experimental forum for sonic research held at Errant Bodies Project Space in Berlin, the Report collects together essays, interviews, proposals and manifestos from the participants, highlighting listening as the basis for a new cultural activism. In particular, questions of sound as a social material are brought forward, leading to reflections on what it means to hear the other.
Occurring in different locations and settings, it is based on the coming together of a selected group of practitioners to share and exchange research on sound and listening, and to collectively work through a range of sonic concepts. Each Forum is developed through collective decision making in terms of how to focus the process, and how to publically manifest the work, as a type of concluding action. At the center of the Forum is a desire to bring together individual viewpoints and practices into a shared activity, embracing sound as a conceptual and material platform that may provide creative opportunities for collaborative and pluralistic expressions.
In particular, the project aims to pose sound as a material that allows us to rethink modes of collective work. It considers how sound evades our ability to physically hold onto it, how it moves through an environment and often passes over boundaries, and how the invisibility of sound often eludes description or capture.
These dynamic and rather dirty qualities of sound are central to the Forum, and to enabling a sound art attuned to a diversity of situations, and that seeks out the multiplicity of being together.