Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Brandon LaBelle

Temporary outpost for an auditory figure

A temporary archive and research space tracing the ways in which sound and audition move through everyday life.


Brandon LaBelle is an artist and writer working with sound culture and locational identities. He’s performed and installed work internationally. He’s also a prolific writer, (author of the excellent Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life, and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art). Through Errant Bodies Press he has co-edited the anthologies Site of Sound: Of Architecture and the Ear Volumes 1 & 2 (1999, 2011), Writing Aloud: The Sonics of Language (2001), Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (2003) and Radio Territories (2007), along with a series of monographs (Critical Ear series) on sound and media artists.



An installation that will run for the duration of Arika’s week at the Biennial, Temporary Outpost…. is structured as an archival space full of live audible energies. Researching the ways in which sound and audition move through everyday life, Temporary Outpost is a collection of sonic amplifications, video documents, texts and artefacts presented as an installation. At the centre of the work is the elaboration of auditory figures – echo, vibration, feedback, silence, transmission and rhythm provide the base for giving narrative to the event of sound and the experience of listening, and ultimately the project aims to query sound as an acoustic territory.



Temporary outpost… traces some of the key conceptual figures of listening (echo, vibration, feedback, silence, transmission and rhythm) as they appear in everyday life and social interaction.  It understands each figure not as an arrangement of sound per se, but as a conceptual structure that orders experience and thought, and so allows us to ask, with Brandon, how rhythm can be understood on a social level, what audition might say about riots or demonstrations, how a notion of ‘echo’ allows us to think the underground, etc and so on…..

As with much of Brandon’s work, it charts an 'acoustic politics of space' by unfolding auditory experience as located within larger cultural histories and related ideologies.  And it’s just very open, and seductive, and informative: engaging, deeply considered.


Kinds of listening involved

Allegorical - to embody an idea in/ of listening

Collective - to be together (listening)

Quotidian - to listen to the sonic figures of everyday life

  • Video

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0