Spring School: ‘Sonic Dialogues: Intersections of Art and Sound in Public Spaces’

June 12–14, 2024

In the framework of the project KlangBildKlang

The spring school ‘Sonic Dialogues: Intersections of Art and Sound in Public Spaces’ unfolded as a three-day workshop investigating the interplay between sonic and visual artistic expressions in public space. Part of the university-wide project KlangBildKlang, it took place on campus of the mdw, located in the urban heart of Vienna. Geared towards Ph.D. students and other early-stage researchers in the humanities, specifically those immersed in music, sound, and performance studies as well as artistic research, this international, interdisciplinary forum examined the profound influence of auditory and visual artistic expressions on public spaces and the resulting perceptual experiences, particularly in light of discourses around activism, gender, and social composition.

Participants were able to present and discuss their research project in an interdisciplinary framework, receive feedback and take part in site visits to Brunnenpassage, Tonspur Passage, and Belvedere21. Experts in the respective fields at the mdw provided critical feedback.

The spring school set out to explore the transformative role of sound and visual art in shaping public environments and to provide participants with an intimate interdisciplinary experience that fosters new networks and perspectives.


The public keynote lecture was streamed live via the mdwMediathek, where it remains available.

Sonic Entanglements
Public Keynote Lecture by Åsa Helena Stjerna
12.6.2024, 18.30 Uhr, Banquet Hall, mdw - Universität for Music and Performing Arts Vienna
In this lecture, Åsa Helena Stjerna will discuss the potential of sound: how sonic strategies and approaches can challenge traditional boundaries and create alternative formats for experiencing and understanding places as complex ecologies, linked to the political potential of making the overlooked heard. Informed by philosophies of ecosophy and posthumanism and based on her own artistic practice and research, she further discusses sonic art’s potential to explore and renegotiate places as complex interweavings between ideology, art, technology, the human, and the more-than-human. Site-specific sonic art can thus be understood as an ethical-aesthetic practice that explores and establishes new sonic relationships within the entanglement we call “place”.

Åsa Helena Stjerna is a Swedish installation artist, researcher, and educator, using sound and listening as her artistic modes of exploration. Through her site-specific installations, she explores sound’s potential, making the embedded conditions and underlying narratives connected to a place perceivable. Through perceptually sensitive and transdisciplinary driven approaches, her works create connections between the past and the present, the local and the global, and the human and the more-than-human. By this she seeks to reframe the act of listening, evoking a sensibility of places as complex ecologies. Several of her projects involve scientific collaboration, exploring how collaboration between science and art can create new artistic formats of listening that deepen our relationship with the world around us.

Stjerna has participated in an extensive number of exhibitions in Sweden and internationally, among other the Transmediale Media Festival, Berlin; the Nordic Music Days, Stockholm; the Ultima Contemporary Music festival, Oslo and the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Her works include several public permanents commissions. Stjerna has recently concluded her tenure as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Prior to this, she held the position of Visiting Professor in Sound Art at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig, Germany.
Photo: Pär Fredin


Contact: Kathrin Heinrich, MA springschool@mdw.ac.at



Kathrin Heinrich, MA
Tel: +43 1 711 55-6115