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Deadline for Abstract Submissions: 28 June 2019 | Deadline for Finished Papers: 3 April 2020

Special Issue

Music in Contemporary Art Spaces (post 2008)

Often existing on the margins of cultural production, experimental or avant-garde musical performance has continued its struggle for space in which to be heard in the past decade. Whilst variegated music venues are being closed in favour of lucrative housing developments, the art space - broadly conceived, an expanded field of spaces designated for exhibitionary purposes, not limited to white cube spaces, but excluding venues such as university concert halls, theatres, etc - has offered a platform for musicians and artists pursuing avant-garde, non-commercial sonic practices.

This has brought with it a concomitant rise in intermedia work, whilst contemporary artists’ moving image work provides an outlet for modern composition. Lastly, technological developments - hardware (e.g cheap laptop computers, smartphones) and software (e.g Logic, Sibelius, as well as apps that emulate vintage synthesisers) alike - have allowed extensive access to previously academic tools.

Whilst this is not strictly new - precedents include the work of COUM Transmissions (later Throbbing Gristle), Fluxus, and Gustav Metzger in the 1960s-70s - it manifests in unique ways at the present conjuncture, such as recent endeavours by Tate Britain and festivals such as the LCMF and Supernormal, as well as culturally inflected ‘regeneration’ projects across many cities (exemplified by the European Capital of Culture competition). This set of developments brings with it questions as to what extent galleries, museums and institutions are complicit with the diminishing of affordable, available artistic spaces - and where artists are considered drivers of the very process that ensures their transience (e.g Glasgow Council’s “artists’ led property strategy”). It also brings into question the beneficiaries of these processes. In the words of contemporary cultural geographer Neil Gray:

The construction of place...(shopping malls, sports stadia, conference centres, iconic
buildings, ‘cultural quarters’, etc.) is cultivated through public-private partnership,
and designed, in large part, to enhance and upgrade the image of the city – primarily
for the investor and the tourist.

Submission guidelines

Papers could explore the following themes:

  • Improvised music in art spaces
  • Contemporary moving image soundtrack
  • Music performance and relational aesthetics
  • Sound in installation art
  • The festival and contemporary music
  • The meaning of contemporary ‘intermedia’
  • The aesthetics and politics of gallery performance
  • Sonic art and DIY culture
  • Contemporary art, music and gentrification

Please send abstracts of 250 words maximum to the guest editor Dr. Kieran Curran. The deadline for submission of abstracts will be June 28th 2019, with finished papers due in April 3rd 2020.

For further information, please visit the journal homepage. Feel free to also review our Instructions for Authors.

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