Sound, Ethics, Art, and Morality

May 29-30, 2016

Art History Department
The Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of Arts
Tel Aviv University

Everything is rhythm; the entire destiny of man is a single celestial rhythm, just as the work of art is a unique rhythm. Maurice Blanchot after Hölderlin, The Infinite Conversation

Sound, Ethics, Art, and Morality is an international conference featuring leading researchers and artists in the field. The conference will include presentations by leading academics.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Christopher Fynsk, Hillel Schwartz, Salomé Voegelin and Brandon Labelle

Sound, Ethics, Art, and Morality aims to draw attention to the international growth of sound studies, and to carve out original research that cross-pollinates interdisciplinary investigations into the reverbs of the middle voice and its ethical implications.

If sound experience assumes action as being-with, this conference asks to examine the reverbs of communications and ethics, from a metaphysical relationship dictating relations amid beings, to its opposition insisting that being is communication toward a sense to come. This conference seeks to explore the implications of sound in communication ethics; the characteristics of intersubjectivity and how the assumption that subjectivity has sound, in terms of langage and parole, may carve a move toward communication; the question of subjectivity and the middle voice, sharing and being shared by and via sonorous bodies articulating care for others. How does listening to the other generates ethical relationships without an object, in the passive voice? If, being-in- the-world is contingent on being-with, how may we describe the social, political, and ethical grounds of sonority?

Sounding bodies’ essential movements, respiration, customs, habits, and character are carved in-between their vocalizing ability and the pressures of appropriation, while their proper mode of being raises the question of contingency while assuming responsibility and care.

Sound, Ethics, Art, and Morality invite researchers to consider the relationship between concepts and percepts, sound and broader sensory perception, hearing and listening, language and speaking, perceptual organs, technology and the production of sense.

Possible topics for presentations include, but are not limited to:

  • technology and embodiment
  • instruments and instrumentality
  • soundscape ecology, acoustic environmentalism, acoustic pollution
  • excess and transcendence: silence and noise
  • listening, hearing, overhearing
  • langage and parole
  • acousmatic sound, l’objet trouvé and the problems of (co)text
  • eavesdropping and mimicry
  • sonority and the senses
  • representing sound: phonography and photography
  • aural terrorism
  • distance and measure: art object and immersive experiences
  • common reverbs and shared experience
  • The organizing committee of this conference invites all contributions that respond to the need to think about the ethical and the moral in sound art, in the form of academic papers and artworks.

    Proposals should be a maximum of 250 words. Individual talks should be 20 minutes in duration followed by a discussion. Please include a CV and a brief explanation of your interest in this area. Our submissions deadline is January 22, 2016. All proposals should be emailed to