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Sonic Social

Curated by Performance Space


12 to 29 June 2014

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


Malcolm Whittaker, Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste, Michaela Davies, Song-Ming Ang, Lauren Brincat and Bree van Reyk

Curators: Jeff Khan and Tulleah Pearce

About the exhibition

Sonic Social presented a series of participatory performance works that explored social relationships created through sound and music. The six works in this program examined the connections between sound and human behavior, and the cultural conventions and structures we build around sonic experience.

Featuring new works by Lauren Brincat and Bree van Reyk, Michaela Davies, and Super Critical Mass as well as interactive performances by Song-Ming Ang and Malcolm Whittaker, Sonic Social mobilised the dynamic interplay between humans, architecture and noise.

The works of Sonic Social occurred throughout the MCA, re‑imagining the spaces of the Museum through performance. Each work activated the architecture of the building, particularly its in-between spaces: foyers, meeting rooms and stairwells – places not usually occupied by art. By animating these spaces the artists of Sonic Social invited us to contemplate the Museum in new ways and open up new possibilities for what art might be in a gallery environment.

Although each work differed in intent and articulation there were shared concerns that emerged throughout the program as a whole: from the power of the human voice as a vehicle for expression, to the liberation of admitting your weaknesses in public for all to hear.

Sonic Social broke the social convention of silence in an art gallery and explored the group dynamics that are brought to life in bands, choirs or support groups – and the way these collectives can take on personalities of their own. Sonic Social sat lightly in the museum space, tackling unusual locations, breaking some rules and inviting people to sing at the top of their lungs!

Malcolm Whittaker, Ignoramus Anonymous
Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste, Super Critical Mass
Michaela Davies, Duty
Song-Ming Ang, Guilty Pleasures, Silent Walk
Lauren Brincat and Bree van Reyk, No Performance Today

Sonic Social Poster



Curated by