Omniaudience (Side Two)
With Lynnée Denise, Nikita Gale, Harmony Holiday, Nour Mobarak, Alexander Provan & C. Spencer Yeh
Saturday, May 4, 1:30–5 p.m., Hammer Museum, free
Sunday, May 5, 6–8 p.m., Coaxial Arts, free
What are the settings in which speech and sound can be heard and have a meaningful effect? How has our ability to listen changed with the development of new technologies for synthesizing, transmitting, capturing, and quantifying expressions? Instead of valorizing the assertion of individuality through speech (which now is so likely to be mediated, mined, and commodified), how can we listen in ways that make us more receptive to one another and ensure that a plurality of voices can be heard? When and why might we reject this ideal and refuse to make ourselves available or open to others (or to the systems that feed on our expressions)?
Triple Canopy addresses these questions in Omniaudience, which emerges from the magazine’s 2018–19 Public Engagement residency at the Hammer Museum and is organized with the Los Angeles–based artist Nikita Gale. Omniaudience refers to the faculty of hearing and comprehending everything, but might also name a congregation of listeners who possess, or strive to attain, this faculty. The first installment of Omniaudience occurred in December 2018; the second installment is a progression of listening sessions, presentations, performances, and discussions at the Hammer Museum and Coaxial Arts, with contributions by Lynnée Denise, Nikita Gale, Harmony Holiday, Nour Mobarak, Alexander Provan, and C. Spencer Yeh. (Subsequent installments in Los Angeles will occur in June and in the fall, along with related events in New York City and elsewhere.)
On the afternoon of May 4, at the Hammer Museum, Gale will facilitate a listening session devoted to the relationship between Phil Spector and Tina Turner, and the manipulation of performances and recordings in order to mold singers and audiences; Nour Mobarak will present Allophone Movement III, a multichannel composition and vocal performance that hinges on recordings of (and responses to) utterances from dozens of languages; Alexander Provan will deliver a lecture, illustrated with chart toppers, on the use of consumer-behavior data and neurobiology research in the production of pop songs that are guaranteed to be pleasing to as many listeners as possible; and C. Spencer Yeh will present a live quadraphonic performance of material from The RCA Mark II (Primary Information, 2017), which is composed of recordings of nonmusical sounds created with the eponymous sixty-year-old synthesizer—an avant-garde icon, now in disrepair.
On the evening of May 5, at Coaxial Arts, Lynnée Denise will present a multimedia essay on the experiences of black artists in the music industry, which she identifies as an economic institution that emerges from chattel slavery; and Harmony Holiday will listen to neglected musical recordings that manifest traditions of collective improvisation and diasporic gathering.
Triple Canopy’s focus on listening—or *hearing with intent*—is tied to a long-standing concern with the modes of distracted viewing and reading that proliferate online and that characterize the attention economy. The magazine’s residency at the Hammer Museum is part of Two Ears and One Mouth, a forthcoming issue that addresses how we speak and listen and who has the right and capacity to be heard.
Triple Canopy’s Public Engagement residency at the Hammer Museum is organized by Anne Ellegood, senior curator, with Nike Chilewich, curatorial assistant.