After nearly three years of operation, IRZU – the Institute for Sonic Arts Research – presents the third edition of EarZoom sonic arts festival. While deeply engaged in conducting research and development of audio technologies, IRZU is still actively advocating the inclusion of sound and music computing within the public educational system. After a century of development, global affirmation, institutionalization and integration of music technology in our everyday lives, we see this field as a basic ingredient for providing a solid background in the artistic field of contemporary music composition, performance and theory. It is still one of our main goals to establish permanent and freely available access to information, knowledge and technical resources to students of artistic academies in Slovenia (composers and media artists in particular) as well as to other interested individuals.
Going beyond the artistic potentials of music technology, it is almost needless to say that there is a fertile, exciting and increasingly popular field for technological research and development, offering countless opportunities for commercial applications within the entertainment industry. The main aim of EarZoom festival is therefore to present a set of carefully selected works of multi-profile individuals (artists/scientists) and thus promote the interdisciplinary field of electronic music – the myriad of possibilities it has to offer – to artists and scientists (engineers) within our local community. EarZoom 2011 features not only performances, exhibitions and installations by established international artists, but also workshops and lectures on a wide selection of different sub-topics of electronic music, ranging from mobile music computing to hardware hacking.
In the framework of this year’s EarZoom sonic art festival we are introducing a slightly different approach to the artistic program selection, aiming at widening the festival’s thematic spectrum. We are shifting the focus from an exclusively technologically inspired concept of sonic arts towards a somewhat wider, socio-political context of contemporary arts, within which we are questioning the expressive potential of sound based practices. What we would like to achieve is to move away from the concept of fetishizing sound as a medium; of recording, processing synthesizing and re-assembling sounds, rejoicing in their reduction to a purely aesthetic phenomenon. Instead, we would like to approach critical artistic practices, which operate in the audible domain, while exhibiting a potential to raise questions about power structures, which impose certain sounds while silencing the others. Which position do artistic practices take within the antagonistic regimes of European politics and how they are able to reflect on the dominant representations in the field of audible and visible are just one of the many questions that we will be raising in this year’s festival.
Miha Ciglar, festival director