Salomé Voegelin – Uncurating Sound, Knowledge with Voice and Hands


Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-1501345418, English, 136 pages, 2023, UK

The COVID isolation experience was a fairly universal condition for a while, brutally interrupting our mostly programmed and regular way of living, along with the perception of both ourselves and the world around us. This new condition (‘post-normality’) has exposed numerous values such as our obvious co-dependency, which in turn implies the sharing of responsibility. Voegelin (author of Listening to Noise and Silence (2010), Sonic Possible Worlds (2014), and The Political Possibility of Sound (2018) proposes to ‘uncurate’ as a radically different curatorial practice, one that is intended to oppose the predominant ideology of exclusion within the curation of sound art, and its definition of a ‘canon’. It does so through different values including inclusion, an evident political dimension, the perception of the material and the manifestation of care. The book is organised as a series of ‘breaths’ (chapters), addressing the values within the gallery space and curatorial practice, which she fosters as a performative one. These ‘breaths’ are alternated with scores, including a couple of exquisite short sets of conceptual art instructions. She politically situates the intrinsic relational quality of sound into the sharing of knowledge in the presence of bodies, delineating a further strategical trajectory in sound studies.