Have you ever wondered about the sounds around you? Take a moment and listen to your environment. Perhaps you can hear the chatter of your co-workers, maybe your phone just went off, or maybe all you can hear is the hum of the air conditioning circulating in the room. Have you ever stopped to think about what is causing the sounds you hear, or maybe wondered why the sounds you hear are making you feel the way they do?
Well, this summer, those with a curiosity for sound and making art with it will have a chance to do some serious experimenting with VCUarts’ Department of Kinetic Imaging new summer workshop series.
In partnership with Sound Arts Richmond, the department kicked off the program, “Experiments In Sound,” to highlight a broad range of Kinetic imaging practices. The first of its kind for Richmond, the workshops are open to everyone, but primarily geared toward those looking to continue their education in the realm of fine art and sound. Participants can immerse themselves deeper into animation, film, video, sound production, and other emerging media.
The workshops offer everything from going on nature walks and learning how to create soundscapes, to learning how to build your own microphone, to learning how to use advanced software such as Ableton Live, podcasting, and making your own invisible speakers.
“A benefit from taking these workshops is that we have a lot of equipment, and a lot of software, so if you do have an interest in things, there’s only so much kind of playing you can do in your own studio at home,” said Stephanie Thulin, Assistant Director of the Kinetic Imaging Department.” [Experiments In Sound] gives you not only the space and the equipment to kind of play around with, but also gives you a community that you may not have known about.”
Community sits at the heart of what Experiments In Sound is all about. The plan for the workshops became solidified when Vaughn Garland, adjunct professor in the Department of Kinetic Imaging and creator of Sound Arts Richmond, approached Thulin about getting involved in the Sound Arts Richmond Festival that comes around every year from March to October.
“Sound Arts Richmond gave us that push to jump into something we were already interested in doing, but when [Garland] came to us with this idea, it was kind of like, well if we’re going to be involved, we should be involved in some kind of educational component because that’s who we are; and it should also highlight a range of sound art which is also who we are,” Thulin said.
Each workshop not only covers a wide range of sound art elements, but also gets you face-to-face with VCU Kinetic Imaging Faculty, practicing artists, and alumni who are helping to guide the workshops, answer any questions, and help attendees cultivate their knowledge and expertise in sound art.
“I hope the program encourages people to be more aware of their auditory surroundings, and the unique ways we experience life,” said Sara Bouchard, a Kinetic Imaging graduate student and co-creator of Experiments in Sound, of the program.
The workshops, which will run until June 30, have an average of seven to 10 people for paid programs, and 15 to 20 for the free program.
At the end of the workshops, participants have an opportunity to showcase their work at VCU’s Anderson Gallery on West Franklin Street.
“I saw this as not just a Kinetic Imaging thing and wanted to have the school of the arts be involved, showcasing how we, as a department, are advocates for the whole school. So, it’s Kinetic Imaging in partnership with The Anderson and Innovative Media,” said Thulin.
Experiments In Sound will run until June 30, you can check out the workshop series’ full schedule here.