Liquid Architecture Machine Listening, a Curriculum

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Liquid Architecture Machine Listening, a Curriculum


Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Activation: Improvisation and Control by Sean Dockray, Dr James Parker, and Joel Stern (all Australia) Saturday, 13 March 2021, 3.00 – 6.00pm Singapore / 6.00 – 9.00pm Australia Online

MACHINE LISTENING is an investigation and experiment in collective learning, instigated by artist Sean Dockray, legal scholar James Parker, and curator Joel Stern for Liquid Architecture. The project launched in October 2020 at Unsound Festival in Poland and continues at NTU CCA Singapore.

Our devices are listening to us. Previous generations of audio-technology transmitted, recorded or manipulated sound. Today our digital voice assistants, smart speakers and a growing range of related technologies are increasingly able to analyse and respond to it as well. Scientists and engineers increasingly refer to this as ‘machine listening’, though the first widespread use of the term was in computer music. Machine listening is much more than just a new scientific discipline or vein of technical innovation however. It is also an emergent field of knowledge-power, of data extraction and colonialism, capital accumulation, automation and the management of desire. It demands critical and artistic attention.

As part of Free Jazz III, the project explores machine listening’s history in computer music, and the evolving dynamics between improvisation and control.



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“Liquid Architecture
Machine Listening, a Curriculum,” NTU CCA Singapore Digital Archive, accessed January 19, 2022,