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The Middle Matter – Sound as interstice

This reader brings together artistic and theoretical contributions on the instertitial nature of sound. This issue is addressed through a variety of prisms, such as format, language, politics, or new technologies.

The Middle Matter is a reader which brings together thoughts on the nature of sound; its substance, specific qualities, and potential—with a specific curiosity to its propensity to occupy the spaces in-between, the instertitial gaps between different spaces, times, cultures, and world views, between the interior body and the exterior space.

Through a number of artistic and theoretical contributions, observations are made around the notion of “audience” and the attendant questions of format, on the effects of old and new technologies, of communal working processes, and the complexity of language, the contributors reveal sound to be a material particularly apt at negotiating these zones of and between contact.

It is a large field of in-betweenness, sound travels, hops borders, passes through walls, its messages for a large part being transported involuntarily and even unconsciously. In this sense sound is extensively participative, entangled in the complicated gaps between bodies, minds and objects through and against which it resonates.

Published following the Oscillation festival, Brussels, from April 25 to May 5, 2019.

Edited by Caroline Profanter, Henry Andersen, Julia Eckhardt.
Contributions by Enrico Malatesta, Séverine Janssen, Tomoko Sauvage & Akio Suzuki, Lila Athanasiadou, Carolyn Chen, Justin Bennett, Brandon LaBelle, Anna Raimondo & Edyta Jarząb, Jennifer Walshe, Gary Schultz, Salomé Voegelin, Marc Matter, Franziska Windisch, David Toop, Pierre Berthet & Rie Nakajima, Mark Fell, interviews with Jonathan Frigeri, ooooo, Paulo Dantas, Melissa E. Logan, Isabelle Stragliati, Alice Pamuk, Klaas Hübner, Wederik De Backer, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Lucie Vítková.

Published with umland.

Graphic design: Ward Heirwegh.

published in November 2019
English edition
15 x 26,5 cm (softcover)
200 pages (color & b/w ill.)


—Caroline Profanter, Henry Andersen, and Julia Eckhardt

Annotations—Enrico Malatesta
Sonic Harbour—Séverine Janssen
Magical stones, echoes, and music for animals and atmosphere: An interview with Akio Suzuki—Tomoko Sauvage
From the Mechanism of Speech to the Mechanism of Meaning—Lila Athanasiadou
Playing Guqin—Carolyn Chen
Siren Song—Justin Bennett
Togethering, of the open body—Brandon LaBelle
Towards a Vaginal Listening—Anna Raimondo and Edyta Jarząb

Jonathan Frigeri
Paulo Dantas
Melissa E. Logan
Isabelle Stragliati
Alice Pamuk
Klaas Hübner
Wederik De Backer
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Lucie Vítková

Ghosts of the Hidden Layer—Jennifer Walshe
What is Performative Distribution?—Gary Schultz
The Sound is Breathing: An interview with Beatriz Ferreyra—Caroline Profanter
Hearing is the Only Thing that Works: An interview with Annette Vande Gorne—Caroline Profanter
Unstable Contacts—Salomé Voegelin
100 Questions about Sound and Language—Marc Matter
Peripheries—Franziska Windisch
Flutter Echoes—David Toop
Touching Sound—Pierre Berthet and Rie Nakajima
?reversE in thinkinG — sounD — Mark Fell