- Harvard and Berlin
- Copenhagen, Denmark // Cambridge, USA // Berlin, Germany
In recent years, new sound recording technologies such as passive acoustic monitoring and underwater sound arrays have become increasingly central to environmental science, offering new ways to gather and analyze data to understand changing ecosystems. At the same time, creative experimentation with sound has been growing in the journalism, storytelling, media arts, and curatorial worlds. With sound as the common medium, increased collaboration across these disciplines presents significant opportunities to expand audiences for research, enhancing impact and creative potential for all.
The mission of the Institute for Interspecies Sound & Society (IISS) is to build an interdisciplinary community of practice that brings together sound-based scientists, technologists, scholars, archivists, storytellers, data journalists, curators, and media artists to expand research impact, build new research tools, and de-center humans in public culture.
To begin, the Institute is initially focused on two initiatives:
Festival — An inaugural convening of practitioners across disciplines to foster new connections and lay the groundwork for new Institute-backed collaborative projects, from exhibitions to publications to the development of new research tools. The event is being planned for Fall 2023, and in advance of the gathering there will be multiple small group sessions amongst participants to collaboratively plan and prepare on-site working sessions.
Podcast + Pop-up Event Series — An immersive podcast and pop-up exhibition series that will serve as a venue for knowledge sharing and community-building, showcasing work by leading sound-based scientists and artists. The podcast will release new episodes and host events monthly starting in Summer 2023.
The Institute is being incubated at metaLAB, an idea foundry, knowledge-design lab, and production studio experimenting in the networked arts and humanities based at Harvard and the Freie Universität Berlin. Copenhagen-based Kara Oehler, a founder of metaLAB (at) Harvard and long-time innovator in sound, technology, and storytelling is Executive Director and founder. Jeffrey Schnapp, Faculty Director of metaLAB, Jesse Shapins, Co-founder of metaLAB and UnionDocs, are senior advisors and co-founders. The Institute is now seeking additional launch partners and collaborators on its first initiatives.
Partners may include:
Individuals — We are keen to expand the Institute’s network of researchers, artists, and other makers excited to join the community to share, learn, and collaborate.
Programming Partners — The Institute is looking for festivals and other platforms to host pop-up exhibitions with the podcast and be part of the inaugural convening.
Funders — We are seeking individuals and institutions committed to the Institute’s mission and able to contribute funds to support launch and follow-on initiatives such as exhibitions, publications and research tools.