Soundscapes of India
Presented by Alexis Bhagat
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020
7:00 – 8:15 PM

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For this event, sound artist and curator Alexis Bhagat will discuss the sound art installation “LISTEN, my heart, to the whispers of the world,”  a collection of audio compositions* reflecting on the soundscape of the Indian subcontinent. The works were presented at the Block Museum in Chicago in a darkened cinema hall as a 5.1 surround soundtrack—a soundtrack with no projected images. Curators Alexis Bhagat and Laurent Rosati describe the experience of LISTEN, my heart … as one in which the “cinema screen is a window for shared dreams. Our soundscape program begins high in the Himalayas, at the sacred shrine of Muktinath, with its one hundred springs of water. From Himalayan peaks, the water of the Yamuna flows to the plains.”  Selections included Michael Northam’s “Mnemonic Debris: Aggregates,” Hildegard Westerkamp’s “Into the Labyrinth,” and Iain Armstrong’s “Annapurna Pastoral: One Hundred Springs.”

Alexis Bhagat is a writer operating in the art-world. Prior to 2007, he was a practicing sound artist, and his works included installations, tape-collages, and radio broadcasts. In 2007, An Atlas of Radical Cartography, a book project conceived and co-edited with artist Lize Mogel, spun off into an art exhibition that travelled to over 20 cities, where Bhagat organized intergenerational dialogues on the past and future of maps and the meaning of pictures of the earth in the digital age. Alongside the itinerary of An Atlas, he created pop-up sound art exhibitions in empty storefronts, lectured on sound art in Canada, India, Japan, and across the USA, and started an organization – ((audience)) – dedicated to presenting sound art in movie theaters with curator Lauren Rosati. Other projects have included Sound & Language, a bookshop and distributor of magazines and recordings based in Richard Kostelanetz’ “Wordship II” (2011-2013), and XFR STN, a “pop-up moving image archive project” conceived by artist Alan Moore, and produced by the New Museum in New York (2013). Bhagat currently lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he is completing a book called Politics and Other Words, works as the director of the Albany Public Library Foundation, and organizes readings with the St. Rocco’s Poetry Collective


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