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Rorschach Audio + Disinformation at MUMA Melbourne & Gertrude Contemporary

Hermann Rorschach - Rorschach Audio

Image [above]: Hermann Rorschach in 1921

Against the backdrop of “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits” – an exhibition of and dedicated to the work of the Victorian Spiritualist painter Georgiana Houghton – Liquid Architecture and the Monash University Museum of Art are pleased to present British sound artist and writer Joe Banks in Australia for the first time. At Gertrude Contemporary, Joe Banks will deliver a lecture entitled “Rorschach Audio”, as part of the “Theories and Histories of Sound” series presented in association with Discipline. MUMA will also present a special concert by sonic arts project Disinformation as part of MUMA’s new “Sound Spaces” program…

Rorschach Audio – Lecture & Demonstration
Weds 3 June 2015
6:30pm to 8pm
Gertrude Contemporary
200 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065

The talk will be followed by a short response from artist and researcher Ceri Hann (RMIT) before opening the floor to discussion

Disinformation – Concert
Thurs 4 June 2015
6:30pm to 8pm
Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA
Monash University Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East VIC 3145

Rorschach Audio – Discussion + Workshop
Sat 6 June 2015
3:00pm to 4:30pm TBC
Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA
Monash University Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East VIC 3145

“While other young artists were subscribing to Artforum, Joe was devouring journals on defence electronics and communications psychology…”

Paul Nomex, 1968 to 2014, R.I.P.

Paul Nomex - photo copyright Jo Burzynska

Paul Nomex – photo courtesy Jo Burzynska

Googling information around the exhibition at The Auricle in New Zealand (see earlier post), I was devastated to learn about the death of pioneering noise DJ and sound artist Paul Nomex. From the mid to late 1990s Paul was a stalwart of the nascent South London noise scene, producing a series of ground-breaking releases on his Adverse record label, and contributing blinding sets to (among many others) the “Principles of Electronic Warfare” event that Disinformation programmed at The ICA (30 March 2000). Nomex and Disinformation also performed together at the (now defunct) 121 Centre in Brixton, at a Strange Attractor event at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, and recorded a collaborative version of “National Grid” (intended to feature on an Adverse CD, but sadly never released). Paul was a real enthusiast and innovator, and was immensely amiable. Paul “Nomex” Kidd died in a motorbike crash near the Kawarau River in New Zealand in Feb 2014, sadly missed…

Paul Nomex, in his element –

Rorschach Audio – Citations & References

A recent (though by no means complete) list of academic research papers that quote the version of “Rorschach Audio” that was published by The MIT Press in Leonardo Music Journal in 2001…

Michael Nees & Charlotte Phillips – “Auditory Pareidolia: Effects of Contextual Priming on Perceptions of Purportedly Paranormal & Ambiguous Auditory Stimuli”, Applied Cognitive Psychology, volume 29, issue 1, pages 129 to 134, Wiley 2015

Diana Espirito Santo – “Fluid Divination: Movement, Chaos & the Generation of Noise in Afro-Cuban Spiritist Oracular Production”, Anthropology of Consciousness, volume 24 issue 1, pages 32 to 56, American Anthropological Association 2013

Donna M. Lloyd, Elizabeth Lewis, Jacob Payne & Lindsay Wilson – “A Qualitative Analysis of Sensory Phenomena Induced by Perceptual Deprivation”, Phenomenology & the Cognitive Sciences, volume 11, issue 1, pages 95 to 112, Springer 2012

Jan Dirk Blom & Iris E.C. Sommer – “Akoestische Hallucinaties; Nomenclatuur en Classificatie”, Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie, volume 53, issue 1, pages 15 to 25, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Psychiatrie 2011

Jan Dirk Blom & Iris E.C. Sommer – “Auditory Hallucinations; Nomenclature & Classification”, Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology”, volume 23, issue 1, pages 55-62, Society for Behavioral & Cognitive Neurology 2010

Morley Hollenberg, Alan Dunning & Paul Woodrow – “Ghosts in the Machine”, Proceedings of the 16th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, pages 1125-1126, Association for Computing Machinery 2008

“Rorschach Audio” publications from 2001 and 2012 are also cited in the following books (“Anomalistic Psychology” being co-written by my former colleague, the excellent Prof. Chris French, Psychology Department, Goldsmiths College)…

Christopher French & Anna Stone – “Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief & Experience”, Palgrave Macmillan 2013

Greg Hainge – “Noise Matters: Towards an Ontology of Noise”, Bloomsbury Academic 2013

Tony Jinks – “An Introduction to the Psychology of Paranormal Belief and Experience”, McFarland 2011

Christof Migone – “Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body”, Errant Bodies 2011

Jan Dirk Blom – “A Dictionary of Hallucinations”, Springer 2009

Mikko Keskinen – “Audio Book: Essays on Sound Technologies in Narrative Fiction”, Lexington 2008

Classic Audio Illusion – Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade

Bearing in mind that virtually all cinema sound effects, to a greater-or-lesser extent, either are or create auditory illusions, nonetheless here’s a classic sound illusion from the library scene in “Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade” (also note the visual illusion in the film’s underground canyon scene, at the end of the “Three Trials” sequence). Thanks to Zata for the heads-up.

“Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade” won an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing, and nominations for Best Original Score and for Best Sound – the film’s audio being created by sound designer Ben Burtt, and by sound engineers Tony Dawe, Shawn Murphy and Gary Summers. Ben Burtt is the pioneering sound designer who (among many outstanding achievements) created the voices of R2D2 and Darth Vader, and the light-saber and blaster sounds for “Star Wars”, created the technique known as the “Audio Black Hole”, and promoted what he referred to as the “Wilhelm Scream” (see earlier post).

Classic Sound Design – The Wilhelm Scream

“London – A Sonic Fragment” at The Auricle, New Zealand


“London – A Sonic Fragment”
The Auricle
35 New Regent St
New Zealand 8011

Exhibition dates – 5th to 28th Feb 2015
Opening event – 6pm 5th Feb 2015

From the official press release: “London – A Sonic Fragment” is an ambitious group show that brings together contemporary sound artists congregating in London, England. Despite tough living conditions, for artists especially, the capital still attracts and fosters a rich sound art scene. Their sonic concerns are varied as they are broad, travelling across spaces: galleries, nightclubs, squat parties, academic institutions and site specific work. “London – A Sonic Fragment” aims to provide a glimpse of the cross disciplinary activities and shifting terrain of sound art emanating from the UK capital. London’s vibrant scene is installed into and pouring out of The Auricle.

The exhibition is curated by sonic artist Justyna Burzynska, and features work by Shelley Parker, Disinformation, Graham Dunning, Greta Pistaceci, GPUD, Brown Sierra & Helen Frossi.

Derek Bentley – Murder Casebook, TV documentary

“Derek Bentley – Murder Casebook” 9pm, Tue 27 Jan 2015 on London Live +

With thanks (again) to Graham Frost!


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