Silent Agencies: Artistic and curatorial practices in a state of crisis

Morten Søndergaard, Laura Beloff

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialScientificpeer-review


This special issue was edited by guest editors Morten Søndergaard and Laura Beloff. Copyediting by Adriaan Odendaal. All articles were first presented at the conference RE:SOUND, Aalborg University (2019), and have been peer-reviewed for the special issue before publishing.

In today’s world, sound occupies an ever-increasing area of cultural and artistic production; however, beyond popular music, other sonic modalities are still on the fringe of institutional and cultural political awareness. This special issue aims to investigate those silent agencies that resonate in the contemporary art world and which are already structuring the modalities of sound in art and curating. Silent agencies refers specifically to the effects of crisis, and the artistic modalities operating with those effects. Moreover, it refers to a philosophical inquiry into the epistemological situation of crisis, and the ‘speculative’ situation of ‘a world without humans’. Bruno Latour writes about the embarrassing silence from researchers on the topic of crisis, and the need to imagine and express different paths than the existing ones (Latour 2017, p. 67).
In this vein, we want to investigate: How may curatorial and artistic structures of current behaviour be operationalized into real transformations of institutional and cultural political behavior? With this in mind we frame the selection of articles for this special issue. These articles address the situation and challenge silent agencies from different perspectives. With these perspectives we argue that it is possible to detect a wider set of problems facing curatorial work in the field of sound practices, ranging from the environmental and institutional impact of technological mediation, to reflecting on ways in which embodied and situated knowledge may emerge from artistic work beyond the conventional enframings of mainstream digital aesthetics and cultural industry.
Original languageEnglish
Issue numberJune 2020
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Sound Art
  • curating
  • environment
  • art

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