Edited by Brandon LaBelle, Manual for the construction of a sound as a device to elaborate social connection

Edited by Brandon LaBelle

Errant Bodies Press: Surface Tension Supplement No. 4, ISBN: 978-0-9772594-8-9, 104 page + CD
As sound art is a mostly conceptual process, it can be easily set in the autonomous ecosystem of social public spaces. Sound art practices can be easily grafted into transportation systems or other crowded places without losing their aura. The “Manual” project, which was staged in Oslo, gave six experimental media artists from around Europe the opportunity to work on different projects in the city space. Parts of the city became the stage for sound interventionism at various levels. The “locational sounds” (well defined by LaBelle) were experienced in public territories where people had no problem with standing or walking side by side with strangers. The works ranged from an ambient feedback performance within a library, to “sampling” nighttime bike rides with recording microphones attached, to radio receivers being carried around the city that were transmitting a specific work, to a tram being transformed in a sound instrument. Hiding behind books, or being collected, or transported by hand, or even transmitted through radio sets or tram PA systems, sounds were created, used and spread like a gift currency to “pay” for collective aural awareness and new experiences. The book is a documentation enriched with a few commissioned essays and a CD (so a proper catalogue/book). And the attached CD perfectly reflects the spirit of this production: it doesn’t include an audio documentation of all the works but just one of 20 minutes, with a remaining 40 minutes of silence, which conceptually symbolize the remaining works.