A survey is a process of listening takes place on the Museum’s fourth floor May 2 through 6. All performances and events are free with Museum admission; no special ticketing is required.
The Scottish group Arika organizes festivals, tours, and community projects focused on experimental forms of music, sound, and film or moving image, relating them to conceptual writing, performance, and philosophy. Their project for the Biennial is a performed survey of listening and its different registers: musical, literary, political, or philosophical. They are interested in the process of listening as it organizes our experience and causes us to think. Each day, they will invite you to listen—to musicians, thinkers, activists, or artists—during experimental music performances, investigations into the politics of listening, explorations of listening practices in conceptual writing or poetry (and readings thereof), and talks or discussions between artists and audiences. Their survey—undertaken along with collaborators Ultra-red, Craig Dworkin, Sean Meehan, Yasunao Tone, Brandon LaBelle, and others—will develop up to and through their time at the Biennial.
This project is presented by Arika and the Whitney Museum of American Art and support for this Biennial residency is provided by Bentley Meeker, Creative Scotland, Bold Works, and Julia and is presented as part of the Year of Creative Scotland.
For most of your time at the Whitney Biennial, you will be asked to look. For your time with us here, we ask you to listen.
Often today, listening is reduced to our experience of what we hear: we might call this an aesthetic experience. We would like to focus on other equally important but often less considered aspects of listening—how we hear, with whom, and how this causes us to think: what you might call the social, political, philosophical, or cognitive experience of listening.
And so we’ve undertaken a brief survey of some of the different registers of listening evident to us in North America, as practiced by musicians, artists, filmmakers, activists, and philosophers. Each of the performances, talks, investigations, installations, or publications you will find in our program concern many things: but each also exemplifies a different mode of listening, made evident by a key informant in our survey—someone from a specific community, illuminating a way of listening in a particular context.
You are hereby invited to consider these modes of listening, how they cause us to think, and how they might engage with our own lives, experiences, and situations.
Arika is a Scottish arts organization. Since 2001 we have organised twenty-six major projects across the UK, involving more than 680 individual events and nearly 500 musicians, filmmakers, writers, philosophers, activists, critics, and visual artists. We have specific fidelities to music and moving image. We are interested in the useful and distinct ways in which artistic practices engage with the world—how they help us to think and feel. A survey is a process of listening is the most sizeable contribution to any Whitney Biennial by a UK organization to date. Read more at arika.org.uk.