PSi#21 Fluid States: Greece - Aural Lighthouses - A Call for Sound Art Contributions from Ileanna

The history of Santorini in relation to its active volcano and its inhabitants’ recent memory of the terrific earthquake of 1953 have created a particular cultural and environmental relationship between each body and its potentially violent ambient. Catastrophes are often identified with impetuous, dense and massive sounds. The sounds aggregating around 'natural disasters' are attributed animalistic qualifiers, such as 'growling tornado,' 'roaring avalanche,' 'shrieking cyclone,' 'groaning earth.' But many of the sounds made by volcanoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and other turbulent phenomena in the physical world are below the frequency limit of human hearing. That's why, making use of contemporary technological reproduction, certain air forces have recently resorted to 'sonic booms' – high-volume, deep-frequency sound effects of air pressure resembling a massive explosion that produce fear and anxiety attacks in their listeners. Continuing to use Santorini's caldera as a 'natural amphitheater' for live or technically mediated auditory (re)presentations, the Santozeum museum extends its call for proposals for the "Aural Lighthouses" symposium, which will be held in Santorini from May 16 to 23, 2015 (as a part of the 'PSi 2015: FLUID STATES – Performances of UnKnowing' festival), in order to further examine the role of human aural performance in making certain disaster sounds come to seem natural and fade into a perceived inaudibility.  


We invite proposals for sound art pieces to be broadcast as installments of Radio Santorini's all-year-around Santozeum program that address the following, or related, questions: 

What are the contemporary implications of Pierre Schaeffer's notion of 'primitive ear,' the ear of the first humans living in the constant state of terror in a potentially dangerous natural environment?
What relationship, both as a species and as individuals, do we develop to pre- and post-disaster soundscapes? 
If sound is usually perceived as something disembodied, what about the materiality of the sound of catastrophe is profoundly disorienting? 
In what ways can – or should not – the prospect of unpredictable catastrophes serve as a catalyst for the recognition of place, experience and identity? 

  • Can a maker of anthropogenic noise be a naturalist as well? Can she be a counter-conservationist? 

  • How minimal can we be in 'minimally processing environmental sound recordings?' 

  • What is the atmosphere afforded by and the beauty, if not pleasure, to be found in 'danger' and 'panic?' 
  • What is the form and shape that spectrography, granular, aggregate and subtractive synthesis, or other sonification tools used in the arts and sciences give to disasters?  

  • What is the function of our aural culture in relation to the impending specter of the global crisis?
  • What is the affective role and the overall effect of sonic booms and other kinds of sonic warfare and sound violence?

Proposals will be accepted throughout 2015 and reviewed on a rolling basis. Notification of approval or regret will be made in email within one month of the receipt of all proposed materials. We do not respond to telephone follow-ups. To submit a proposal or for more information, please email:

Tags: Media Technology and Performance  Performance as Research  Performance Studies in Europe  

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