Eavesdropping: On the Politics of Listening and Being Listened To
10 October 2019
In conjunction with Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s exhibition Earwitness Theatre, Liquid Architecture and the IMA present a program of talks, a book launch, and a screening addressing the concept of eavesdropping.
Curators Joel Stern and James Parker will discuss their exhibition Eavesdropping, currently on display at City Gallery, Wellington following its showing at Ian Potter Museum of Art in 2018, and launch the new publication, ‘Eavesdropping: A Reader’.
Stern and Parker’s project addresses the capture and control of our sonic world by state and corporate interests, alongside strategies of resistance. It departs from the argument eavesdropping isn’t necessarily malicious. Eavesdropping features work by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Susan Schuppli, Sean Dockray, Joel Spring, Fayen d’Evie and Jen Bervin, Samson Young, and Manus Recording Project Collective.
Following their talk, Stern and Parker will introduce a screening of Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s Rubber Coated Steel (2016), which follows an incident in May 2014, in which Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank (Palestine) shot and killed two teenagers, Nadeem Nawara and Mohamad Abu Daher.
Abu Hamdan’s audio investigation proved that the boys were shot by real bullets and not rubber ones, became the centre of a murder investigation that went through the military courts and international news networks to the US Congress.
James Parker directs a research program on law and sound at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School. His 2015 book Acoustic Jurisprudence: Listening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi was awarded the 2017 Penny Pether Prize for scholarship in law, literature, and the humanities. He has been a visiting fellow at the Program for Science, Technology, and Society at Harvard Kennedy School for Government, and a faculty member at Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is an associate curator at Liquid Architecture.
Joel Stern is a curator and artist concerned with theories and practices of sound and listening. With Danni Zuvela, he is Artistic Director of Liquid Architecture, Melbourne, which stages sonic experiences and critically reflects on systems of sonic affect at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music. His other initiatives include the artist collective OtherFilm and the residency programme Instrument Builders Project. Stern is a PhD candidate in Curatorial Practice at Monash University.