• 31 May 2019
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Light lunch provided.
    Free, booking essential.
  • Paul Mellon Centre

Audio Arts (1973-2007) was established by artist William Furlong and writer Barry Barker in 1973 as a magazine of contemporary art on tape cassette. Focused on speech and artists' voices Audio Arts expanded the traditional scope of a printed magazine from the representation of art works into an alternative space for art. The research's aims are twofold: first it examines the multifaceted history of the sound magazine by highlighting the relationship between the editorial, curatorial and artistic activity developed by Furlong and his collaborators under this framework. Secondly it investigates the tension between inventory space and imagined space, by examining the relationship between the re-organisation of Audio Arts Archive (since its acquisition in 2004 by Tate) and the way it was used creatively by Furlong in the production of new sound works. Through a curatorial project in collaboration with Tate Archive, I will explore how listening to (and within) the archive could be considered a form of engagement between the two spaces, acting as both an archival methodology and a creative tool for the active participation of an audience. By imagining the life of the Audio Arts Archive beyond its inventory, I seek to establish a creative space for collaborative research through the contribution of new conversations and performative acts. My overarching research questions are: how can an archive be defined in relation to an artists' practice? How is an archive active rather than the ultimate trace of previous activity? The research will provide a unified methodology for understanding the complex legacy of Audio Arts, a legacy, I will argue, that lies at the intersection of sound art, oral history, curatorial practice and art criticism, and represents in this sense an original contribution to knowledge both in the history of contemporary art, audio and visual culture in an expanded field.

Photo credit: the first issue of Audio Arts on Memorex cassette, 1973. Courtesy Tate Archive

About the speaker

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    Lucia Farinati is a curator and a Ph.D. researcher at the Kingston School of Art, London. She has curated several sonic art projects under the collective name Sound Threshold. She was an interviewer for Audio Arts (2005-7) and curated a series of key exhibitions presenting William Furlong’s soundworks (Sound Art Museum, Rome 2006; Plymouth Arts Centre, 2006/7; Flat Time House, London 2010; Villa Romana, Florence 2013). In collaboration with Furlong she organized the symposium Active Archive, British School at Rome (2006) and also contributed to the symposium Off the Record: The history and legacy of Audio Arts Magazine on contemporary art, Tate Britain (2012). In parallel to her Ph.D, she is currently working on an interdisciplinary project on the history of the artist interview (in collaboration with Jennifer Thatcher) which will be presented at the Association for Art History annual conference in Brighton in April 2019. She is the co-author of The Force of Listening, Errant Bodies Press, 2017.