Cathy Lane & Angus Carlyle – Sound arts now


Uniformbooks, ISBN-13: 978-1910010266, English, 240 pages, 2021, UK

This is the third anthology on sound art practices by Cathy Lane & Angus Carlyle (founders of CRiSAP – Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice at the University of the Arts London), following their book In the Field and subsequent collection of essays On Listening. In Sound arts now, they have adopted the interview format, and the twenty essays collected reflect a programmatic approach to research that goes beyond the white, male predominance of artists in this scene. And they accomplish this task with flying colours. Among the artists interviewed (online and in person), we find familiar names such as Adam Basanta, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Maria Chavez, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Mikel R. Nieto, but also, and especially, unfamiliar names such as Elsa M’bala, Jeu-Lan Guo, Yashas Shetty and Khaled Kaddal. The cultures of listening are the dominant thread, examined as personal methods and historical systems. The editors’ perspective is to engage in a collective process of defining contemporary sound art in theory and practice. However, in the afterword, the editors admit that this definition is now more problematic than ever, even by defining what sound art is not, which they have successfully done in the past. Lane and Carlyle’s contribution to the discourse of sound art remains an extraordinary achievement. And hopefully it will continue.