Interference Journal Issue 8

Call for Papers: Writing About/Through Sound (Issue 5)

[ Please note: This call for papers is closed ]

Issue editor: Linda O’Keeffe

In this call, we ask authors to explore the intersection of creative practice, developing technologies and pedagogy within sound studies. Taking the ontological viewpoint, how does one come to know sound as it is produced within contemporary culture, and, given the diversity of potential approaches to its production and reception, how may it be taught, written about and presented?

Alongside the increase of sound-related disciplines, the emergence of conferences and journals focusing on sound, including our own, signals a growing dialectic through which researchers and practitioners can present their field to a wider audience. Yet, even as the study of sound can be seen to encompass ever–broader perspectives, the use of more traditional representational strategies via language and text to demonstrate, present, analyse or argue sound theories, may also rob sound studies of its singularity, drawing emphasis away from the acts and strategies particular to audio cultures and the forms – embodied, auditory, material – which these may take. In this way, sound studies may sometimes align itself with more traditional theoretical discourses and approaches to the representation of knowledge when it might instead forge entirely new approaches.

We ask authors to consider the ways in which sound itself could be represented as a discourse or as model. We recognise that arts practitioners might argue that within practice they already achieve this. Yet even within practice there is a move towards making explicit the structural imperatives underpinning the relationships between artistic materials, be they in the realm of gathering/devising strategies, composition, design or exhibition, or in the tradition of textual discourse. For this call we will also accept proposals that challenge the orthodoxy of textual representations. For example, this might be proposals that take the form of audio presentations.

Suggested themes and approaches include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Defining and describing the auditory experience of sound installations and/or audio performances through text
  • Soundscape/environmental sound–structural models in creative practice
  • Embodied models in the creation or reception of sound works
  • Noise as extreme environment/embodied experience
  • How to introduce sound in interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary creative contexts: pedagogies of sonic awareness and creative practice
  • Creative works based on direct manipulation of sensory phenomena/illusions
  • Creative works (either solely sound–based or mixed–media) which address sound’s distinctiveness as a sensory modality
  • Acoustical models as sources of creative structures
  • Technological models (e.g. synthesis and audio processing methods and the structure of media, including glitch/microsound/post–digital sounds or the design of performance or production technologies) as sources of creative structures
  • Conceptual models of sound in emerging technologies (audio, interaction, performance, production, etc.)
  • Sonic ethnography and phonography: the sounded structures of cultures
  • Discussions and experiments in Post-digital print, music journalism and music publishing

Deadline for Abstracts: March 31st 2015
Submission of abstracts (250-300 words) via email to
Responses about acceptance/rejection to authors: Mid June
Download Call PDF
Submission Guidelines:


Submitting an Article to Interference

Interference accepts papers on an ongoing basis as well as distributing calls for special issues. If you are unsure if your submission is suitable for the journal please contact the editor Please see our submission guidelines when preparing your article for submission and for details on our peer review process.

Call for Papers: Special Issue 4

[ Please note: This call for papers is closed ]

Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture has three issues currently in various stages of completion since its establishment in 2010. This includes our inaugural issue, An Ear Alone is not a Being, currently online, A Sonic Geography, available in Spring 2012 and Noise Please, our third issue currently in progress and due for publication in Autumn 2012. At this moment in time we would like to take the opportunity to thank everybody who has helped us so far: contributors, editorial board, advisory panel, referees and academic institutions CTVR, Trinity College Dublin and The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (Gradcam) for their ongoing support. The inauguration of an academic journal through an open access model is a collective project built on free labour, and can’t be sustained without the ongoing collaboration and generosity of a broad community.

While still a relatively new platform, Interference would like to take the opportunity in our fourth call for papers to invite submissions for a more open call, stepping momentarily outside the strong thematics that have shaped our previous three publications. At this crucial stage, we, as a community, wish to reflect on the breadth of disciplinary orientations and perspectives that populate audio cultures, a theoretical and practical richness that continues to strike us with each successive call we circulate.

We use this call to encourage contributions that explore audio cultures, in it’s epistemic, theoretical and methodological orientations, and encourage papers that approach sound studies from a multitude of perspectives. Papers might engage any aspect of audio cultures, but place some emphasis on the methodologies and frameworks that inform the research or practice.This might address the growing currency of sonic methodologies such as soundwalking, deep listening and field recording in qualitative research, or alternatively, explore the application and recombination of frameworks informing diffuse areas such as media theory, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, musicology and performance to audio cultures. In every instance we aim to contribute to the development of a disciplinary field that is working to establish a set of common territories, vocabularies and frames of practice.

Interference balances its content between academic and practice based research and therefore accepts proposals for both academic papers and accounts of practice based research.

Deadline for Abstracts: May 18th 2012
Submit Abstracts to:
Submission Guidelines:

Call for Papers: Noise Please (Issue 3)

[ Please note: This call for papers is closed ]

As seen with the growing vocabularies of dissonance, the retro-commodification of glitch aesthetics, and the many rich-media anthologies now exclusively devoted to the characterisation of noise, the act of qualification frequently absorbs the antagonistic properties of sonic intervention that constitute our focus for this issue of Interference. In distributing this call for papers, therefore, it is not an ontology we seek, but a necessary reflection on the politics of noise as these relate in turn to new media ecologies, cultural practices and fluctuating modes of governance. Here an array of definitions – from unwanted sound, chaotic frequency distribution to deconstructive remainder, systemic glitch or excess, blend, and gesture at once to cultural practices of dissent and their broader socio-political resonances.

Such an enquiry acknowledges the vast legacy of noise across auditory cultures, tracing echoes in historical practices engaged with public assembly, protest, territorial dispute and the management of difference. This legacy also travels the twin trajectories of industrialisation and urban development in the early Twentieth Century, reflected in various cultural movements from Futurism, dissonant compositional and instrumentation techniques, through to Musique concrète, early Electronic Music and Free Jazz.

In the latter half of the Twentieth Century, the parallel development of systems theory (concerned with the management of equivocation) alongside the growing acknowledgement of textual ambiguity in the Arts, reflects an ideological contradistinction between scientific and cultural epistemes in terms of how noise was negotiated. Increasingly contingent on techniques for the quantisation, synthesis and transmission of signals, and formally influenced by the proliferation of stochastic and aleatory processes as compositional techniques, this dialectic has had a significant impact on the grain of audio culture, and the fluctuating signification of noise in particular. A canonical work such as Christian Marclay’s Record Without a Cover or Yasunao Tone’s Wounded CD cuts to the very heart of this relationship, such that the exploit of the technological medium provides the material from which to perturb the boundaries of musical aesthetics.

Today we encounter a situation in which the aesthetics of failure or dissent are comfortably subsumed within the vocabulary of commercial pastiche. Where software manufacturers produce plug-ins to homogenise digital distortion alongside a healthy trade in circuit-bent electronics over the internet, so too the rhetoric of subversion is increasingly indistinguishable from the neo-liberal reflexivity of governments, institutions and states, and our tactics the selfsame logics of viral capital and soft control. It might seem that our noise echoes in a vacuum. If we’re screaming, we’re not making any sound. We may need to reconsider the apparatuses of noise.

Taking a theoretical perspective that draws from Jacques Attali onwards to writers today such as Steve Goodman, Mattin, Anthony Iles, Paul Hegarty and Simon Reynolds, we call for papers that foreground noise as a constructive assemblage of audiosocial tactics. From such a perspective noise is not a negatory act that positions the disruptive force outside of what is being disrupted. Instead, noise becomes a constructive interference that perturbs the boundaries of a system from within, may dissemble complex asymmetries and foreground structural dispositifs.

As a result we invite papers that deal not only with categories of aesthetic dissonance or vibrational force, but invite an expanded view of noise as a collection of sonic strategies that engage social, technical, political and economic concatenations:

  • The Politics of Dissent: The role of various manifestations of noise in political protest, broadcast, territorial dispute and warfare
  • Noise and the Body: Engaging issues such as psychoacoustics, gender, affect, vibration, force, pain, nausea and desire
  • Material: The politics of sound pressure, vibration and timbre
  • Music: Noise genres, compositional techniques and processes, performance and improvisation
  • Sensory Anthropologies of Noise and Silence
  • Political Economy of Noise: An expanded view that treats of radical economics, debates around free culture, intellectual property and new modes of consumption and distribution
  • Counter-Theory: Writing that provokes normative assumptions within canonical musicology, theory and audio culture
  • Technologies of Noise: Exploring changing practices around analogue, digital and networked media, tracing the trajectories of information theory, digital signal processing, compression techniques and concerning a range of psychoacoustic and compositional algorithms in relation to definitions of noise
  • Failure and Exploit: Tactical media, hactivism, glitch, circuit-bending, and zombie media
  • Noise Control: Broadcast policy, noise abatement, and acoustic ecology
  • Histories of Noise: Across culture, theory and aesthetics
  • Audio Futurology: Understanding noise as a form of socio-political divination
  • Feedback and Reflexivity
  • Inaudible Noise

Deadline for Abstracts: January 16th 2012
Submit Abstracts to:
Submission Guidelines:


Call for Papers: A Sonic Geography: Rethinking Auditory Spatial Practice (Issue 2)

[ Please note: This call for papers is closed ]

There now exists a significant body of work exploring the confluence of spatial and sonic practices, with recent literature acknowledging the role of sound in the ongoing production, regulation and conceptual representation of space. Aural architecture, soundscaping and sonic sculpture abound, as do accounts of sonic strategies for the delineation of territory, the performance of identity, and the management of difference within physical, and more recently, mobile, virtual, and networked spaces.

Events in the mainstream art world that took place in 2010, such as the inclusion of John Wynne’s untitled sound sculpture for 300 speakers, Pianola, and vacuum cleaner in the Newspeak: British Art Now exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, and Susan Philipsz’ reception of the Turner prize for her public sonic intervention ‘Lowlands’, demonstrate that this field of sound-based, spatially distributed practice has reached a level of maturity that resonates with a larger public, and is embraced on an institutional level that facilitates future production. Significant publications in the past decade including The Soundscape of Modernity by Emily Thompson, Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture by Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter, Sound Moves: iPod Culture and Urban Experience by Michael Bull, Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life by Brandon Labelle, and Listening to Noise and Silence: toward a Philosophy of Sound Art by Salomé Voegelin, cement a theoretical evolution which supports these practice-based experiments, while the English translation of Sonic Experience: A Guide To Everyday Sounds in 2006 marks the dissemination of one of the most thoroughly actualized research programs (CRESSON: The Centre for Research on Sonic Space and the Urban Environment, in Grenoble, France) that has sought to explore sound in various spatial contexts since the early 1980s.

This sustained interest in auditory spatial practice might be interpreted as resulting from a more general epistemological shift away from the neutral, physically bounded spaces of Cartesian geography towards a relational framework that treats ʻspaceʼ as the ongoing performance of people, objects, codes, and practices. A spatial epistemology that tends towards the fluid, the contingent, and the socially produced, facilitates discussions of sonic practices as inherently spatial. As nascent fields such as sensory urbanism , acoustic ecology and aural architecture explore the application of these theories to more sustained practical experimentation and support structures, the feedback loop formed between discussion, design, and production generates new possibilities for auditory spatial awareness.

The second issue of Interference, therefore, not only invites papers that further explore the role of audio cultures in the production of space, but attempts to reflect on the role of auditory spatial awareness as a critical tool for theoretical and creative practices. We also wish to solicit work that reflects on this body of theory: the languages, cultures and criteria that continue to shape auditory spatial practices.

Proposals for this issue of Interference might address, but not exclusively, some of the following issues and points of discussion:

  • The role of the creative practitioner in auditory spatial awareness, through the production of counter factual geographies and fictionalised spaces, foregrounding the sonic identity of space, or otherwise exploring, augmenting or transforming the soundscape.
  • A taxonomy for auditory spatial practices: where visual terminologies abound in spatial analysis we invite submissions that develop an appropriate language for auditory space. How might a sonorous language, with its emphasis on rhythm, movement, repetition and fluidity of forms, aid contemporary spatial discourses?
  • Reviews of the literature on auditory space, or on spatially informed cultural practice
  • Exploring correspondences/disjuncture between the theoretical frameworks of spatial theory and recent practices such as sensorial geography and aural architecture
  • The role of audio culture in diffuse perspectives of historical spaces, inviting counter-histories and counter-geographies from antiquity right up to the development of cyberspace
  • Broadcasting boundaries: the role of sonic broadcasts in geographic conflict:territorial dispute, the performance of national, local and cultural identities and the role of broadcast in public and privatised spaces
  • The role of sound and listening as mapping techniques, with and against established cartography, recent mapping technologies, and locative media
  • Relations between sensorial epistemologies: visual, sonic, haptic, peripatetic etc.
  • Auditory spatial practices as a point of engagement with contemporary spaces:mobile worlds, virtual environments and networked platforms
  • The role of media technologies in the production of acoustic spaces: radio,amplification, recording technologies and portable audio devices
  • Explorations of different scales within sonic space: from sculptural interventions to large acoustic communities
  • An exploration of the relationship between sounds and their geographical sources: local sonic identities, or similarly, dislocated sounds: the production of acousmatic and imaginary auditory spaces in acoustic practice.


Call for Papers: An Ear Alone is Not a Being: Embodied Mediations in Audio Culture (Issue 1)

[ Please note: This call for papers is closed ]

Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture, are pleased to announce a call for papers for the inaugural issue “An Ear Alone is Not a Being”: Embodied Mediations in Audio Culture.

To what extent are acoustic practices embodied? How does physical embodiment shape auditory cognition? What role do processes such as biofeedback and genetic algorithms play in contemporary musical practices? What kinds of idealised listening subjects are encoded in acoustic algorithms such as codecs, head-related transfer functions or binaural recording specifications? How are psychoacoustic effects deployed for and against the body? How might we speak about listening practices that extend beyond the ear to sensorial or haptic accounts of audition?

The inaugural issue of Interference investigates the mediative role of the body in sonic practices. Embodied mediation presumes a reciprocal process: we explore how listening experiences and acoustic practices are shaped by corporeality, but we also attend to the many ways in which these processes work upon that body, through psychophysical affect and the representation and encoding of embodied subjects in acoustic performances, technologies, and cultural artefacts. Submissions may take the form of academic articles or statements of research and practice. For more information see the submission guidelines.

Proposals for this issue of Interference might address, but not exclusively, some of the following issues and points of discussion:

  • Research in Embodied Music Cognition
  • Phenomenology of Sound
  • Biofeedback: the role played by corporeality in sonic arts, musical practices, performance and design
  • Sonic Dominance: the use of acoustic properties as affective tools
  • Sonic Mediations: Exploring the mediative role of the body between cognitive response and acoustic environment. Exploring the relationship between the body and tools for acoustic composition and performance.
  • Encoding Bodies: An exploration of how the body might be represented or encoded in practices as diverse as instrument design, networked performances, psychoacoustic algorithms etc.
    Haptic or intersensory listening practices