Spring 2022 Speaker Series: Jessica Thompson

Thursday, March 10, 2022 16:00to17:30

The Department of Art History and Communication Studies presents:

Jessica Thompson

Sonic Borderlines: An Intersectional Approach to Listening Through Data

March 10, 4 - 5:30 p.m. EST

The talk will be held over Zoom and is followed by a Q&A session.

Registration: https://mcgill.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIoc-6rpzsjGdQend0S6Jn1tCdCnNiD1i1D

Abstract: Borderline is a mobile research-creation tool that uses sound to identify and annotate the invisible boundaries that affect social and economic mobility in urban spaces. Using algorithms trained to identify ~100 common sounds, the project enables users to map sounds in their environment and place them in dialogue with other forms of urban data. The recordings gathered through the app play back whenever you return to them, creating a generative soundtrack of sonic events. In her talk, Thompson will discuss how cities reveal themselves through sound, how interpretations of sound are closely aligned with systems of power, and how intersectional listening, critical mapmaking and distributed technologies can improve our understanding of socioeconomic inequality.

Bio: Jessica Thompson is an Associate Professor of Hybrid Media at the University of Waterloo, where she teaches in the Department of Fine Arts and the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. Her artistic research investigates the ways that sound reveals spatial and social conditions within cities, and how the creative use of urban data can generate new modes of citizen engagement. She has been a practicing media artist since 1999 and her interactive artworks have shown at venues such as the International Symposium of Electronic Art (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival (New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), NIME (Oslo), Artists’ Walks (New York), Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), the AGW Triennial (Windsor), InterACTION (Kitchener), HASTAC (Vancouver), Re:Sound (Aalborg), and Entorno Encuentro Exploración (Pamplona). She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Government of Ontario.

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