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Boiler Room Lecture: Samson Young: extreme loudness over a long distance


Thursday 8 March 2018, 6pm - 8pm
West Space, Melbourne
Level 1/225 Bourke St, Melbourne
Wheelchair Accessible
FREE /// Bookings required, click here to RSVP

Samson Young

Monash University Museum of Art I MUMA, in partnership with the Biennale of Sydney and Liquid Architecture, is pleased to present a special talk by Hong Kong-based composer and artist Samson Young. The talk will be convened by Dr James Parker, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, University of Melbourne.

Samson Young will discuss his work Canon, a sound installation and durational performance which incorporates the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), together with the legal and political barriers to performing and exhibiting this work. In Canon bird songs and distressed calls of birds, accompanied by a live performer’s improvisational bird calls, are beamed with a LRAD. The LRAD is a “non-lethal” sonic weapon capable of directing sounds across long distances at detrimental volumes. The machine is frequently deployed to defuse protestors, but also to repel birds on private properties, such as airports and nuclear plants.


Samson Young is a composer and artist based in Hong Kong. His creative outputs manifest in a variety of media and across disciplinary divides. He holds a PhD in Music Composition from Princeton University (2013) and has held multiple solo exhibitions worldwide, including the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Goethe-Institut, Hong Kong and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan. He was the recipient of the inaugural BMW Art Journey Award at Art Basel Hong Kong (2015) and represented Hong Kong at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017). Samson Young is participating in the 21st Biennale of Sydney – SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement (16 March – 11 June 2018) and will be included in the forthcoming exhibition Eavesdropping, curated by Joel Stern and James Parker at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne.

Dr James Parker directs a Research Program on Law, Sound and the International at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on the relations between law and sound, with a particular emphasis on international criminal law and the law of war. His book Acoustic Jurisprudence: Listening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi (OUP 2015) explores the trial of Simon Bikindi, who was accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of inciting genocide with his songs. Parker’s most recent project, The Jurisprudence of Sonic Warfare explores the weaponisation of sound. He has written previously about the LRAD.

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Biennale of Sydney 2018

West Space

Image: Samson Young, 'Canon' 2016. Drawing (charcoal, ink, pastel, pencil, stamp and watercolor on paper), sound performance (for one performer with audio interface, laptop. Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), microphone), installation (3D printed water basin, custom-designed bench, sound track, stamped text on wall, wired fencing). Drawing 38cm x 28cm, installation and performance dimensions variable. Image courtesy Galerie Giesla Capitain, Cologne, Team (gallery, inc.), Venice and New York. Photo credit: Simon Vogel

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