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Apr 12, 2019 at 8:00 am – Apr 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Sound Ethnographies

Led by Amanda Gutierrez

This workshop is SOLD OUT.

Please sign up for the waitlist below to receive updates regarding any openings or similar future opportunities.

“For twenty-five centuries, Western knowledge has tried to look upon the world. It has failed to understand that the world is not for beholding. It is for hearing. It is not legible, but audible.” Jacques Attali, Noise: The Political Economy of Music (1985)

This three-day intensive will immerse participants in using sound to understand and document the world. Through critical listening exercises, practical demonstrations, guest presentations, readings and discussions, students will explore what sound is and what it does, learning to critically and ethically integrate sound recording and sonic research into their artistic and scholarly practices. Over the course of the workshop, students will develop a range of sound recording techniques and will learn to craft stories, included in filmmaking techniques, arguments, and artworks from recorded sounds.

Sound scholar and filmmaker Amanda Gutierrez will introduce the practical methods and theoretical debates of sound ethnography to nonfiction media makers, artists and scholars. In this intensive seminar, participants will have the unique opportunity to develop skills and workshop current projects with guests working in a range of fields, including sound art, radio, music, film, anthropology, and media studies.

Workshop topics will include: understanding sound basics; sound walking and mapping; field recording techniques; DIY microphone construction; sound editing; working with sound and moving images; developing stories and arguments with sound; engaging audiences in critical listening; noise and silence politics; soundscape study and sound heritage; and the ethics of sound recording. The workshop is designed to introduce participants to a range of approaches that include sound ethnography, acoustic ecology, archaeoacoustics, ethnomusicology, and aural heritage. Scholars and audiophiles of all types are encouraged to attend.


Open to everyone at any experience level, though the workshop setting is best suited for filmmakers, audio producers, scholars, curators and media/sound artists.

Before the course, you will be asked for your bio, a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience, and a work-in-progress, if applicable, so you can receive feedback during the critique sessions. The work-in-progress is encouraged (but not required!) and can include a media sample or feedback on a concept/idea.

$300 early bird registration by March 29th, 2019 at 5PM; $285 for members.

$350 regular registration; $335 for members.

In order to keep costs down, this workshop is a BYOL, i.e. bring your own laptop. Students must be fully proficient using and operating their computers.

To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via card, check, or cash . After the early bird registration deadline of March 29th, course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals or deadlines will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.

In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.

Please note: Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Friday, Apr 12

AM: Amanda Gutierrez

PM: Luz Maria Sanchez

Saturday, Apr 13

AM: Zach Poff

PM: Adela Goldbard

Sunday, Apr 14

AM: Pejk Malinovski

PM: Vivienne Corringham

Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:


Warm up, inspiring references, case study, eye training.


Presentation by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique




Share / Discussion / Exercise


Lunch (on your own)


Presentation by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique




Workshop Exercise + Critique


Wrap Up


Amanda Gutiérrez (b. 1978, Mexico City) explores the experience of home, belonging, and cultural identity by bringing into focus details of everyday practices whose ordinary status makes it particularly hard for us to notice their key role in defining who we are. Trained and graduated initially as a stage designer from The National School of Theater, Gutiérrez uses a range of media such as sound art and performance art to investigate how these conditions of everyday life set the stage for our experiences and in doing so shape our individual and collective identities. Approaching these questions from immigrants’ perspectives continues to be of special interest to Gutiérrez, who completed her MFA in Media and Performance Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently elaborating the academic dimension of her work as a Ph.D. student at the University of Girona, Spain. Accordingly, these techniques also constitute the core of the pedagogical practice Gutiérrez has developed over a decade of teaching in diverse settings ranging from high schools on Chicago’s South Side to a senior center on New York’s Upper West Side, including academic institutions such as the SAIC, Connecticut College, and Columbia University. Gutiérrez has held numerous art residencies at FACT Liverpool in the UK, ZKM in Germany, TAV in Taiwan, Bolit Art Center in Spain, and her work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as The Liverpool Biennale in 2012, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Camera Club of New York, and currently at Harvestworks where she is developing her latest project in relationship of the soundwalk as an ethnographic tool. A recipient of a grant from the National System of Art Creators, in Mexico. Gutiérrez is currently on the board of directors of the Midwest Society of Acoustic Ecology.

Luz María Sánchez is a transdisciplinary artist, researcher, and academic. She holds a Doctorate in Art from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. Sánchez is a member of the National System of Researchers (2019-2021), member of the Art and Science, Complexity Program of the Center for Complexity Sciences (C3-UNAM) at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, and member of the National System of Art Creators (2015-2018). She currently serves as Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) in Mexico.

Her books include Sonar. Navegacion/Exploración del sonido en las practices artísticas del siglo XX (Sonar. Navigation/Exploration of Sound in the XX Century Contemporary Art Practices) (Spanish. UAM: 2018), Samuel Beckett electrónico. Samuel Beckett coclear (Electronic Samuel Beckett: Cochlear Samuel Beckett) (Spanish. UAM: 2016), The Technological Epiphanies of Samuel Beckett: Machines of Inscription and Audiovisual Manipulation (Bilingual. Fonca/Futura: 2016), as well as several book chapters.

Sánchez’s work operates in the political sphere with themes like the Mexican Diaspora, violence in the Americas, and the failure of the Nation-State. Her sound works and installations have been included in sound and music festivals and in museums and galleries in Europe and the Americas.

Her recent work V.[u]nf.1_01 is currently on view at Laboratorio de Arte Alameda in Mexico City, as part of the major survey Modos de oír. Prácticas de arte y sonido en Mexico (2018-2019) and was selected in the media art biennial WRO in Poland. This asynchronous sound installation has been activated at the Museum of Modern Art, in Mexico City (2018), at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany (2017)—where Sánchez was keynote at ISACS 17 – International Sound Art Curating Conference Series—invited by Peter Weibel and Morten Søndergaard, and at Goldsmiths University of London, as part of the Sound of Memory Symposium organized by Goldsmiths and Whitechapel Gallery (2017). At present, she is preparing a solo exhibition at the Sound Experimental Space (EES) at the University Museum Contemporary Art (MUAC) at UNAM (March 2019), and her participation at the WRO Biennale in Poland (May 2019).

Zach Poff is a New York area media artist, educator, and maker-of-things. His artwork is rooted in open systems that eschew individual authorship in favor of collaborative or generative models. His algorithmic remixes of popular media uncover hidden subtexts lurking inside familiar forms. Other recent work employs unique sound tools to explore the web of social and ecological relationships that challenge and sustain us. He considers his art-making, teaching, and software development to be contributions toward a culture of sharing & empathy, in direct opposition to commercial media’s cult of the individual. In 2015 he received a commission from Wave Farm Transmission Arts to create Pond Station, a long-term outdoor sculpture that live-streams the underwater sounds of a pond. He currently teaches Sound Art at Cooper Union School of Art in NYC and leads workshops on “expanded” sound recording at universities and arts organizations throughout the US.

Adela Goldbard is an interdisciplinary artist and educator with a research-based practice who believes in the potential of art to generate critical thinking and social transformation. Her work questions the politics of memory and remembering by suspecting the power relations and social constructs behind official history, archeological preservation, patriotism, state-sanctioned celebrations, and mass media. She is especially interested in how collective destruction becomes a ritual, a statement, a metaphor, a way of remembering and a form of disobedience. She dissents by re-enacting and making visible events that have been forgotten or erased, by collectively building, staging and, importantly, destroying—always with subtle parody and dark humor. In her projects she melds video, sculpture, photography, text, pyrotechnic performances and immersive installations.

Goldbard holds an MFA as a Full Merit Fellow in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Language and Literature from the National University of Mexico. She is the 2017 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize and she was recently granted the prestigious Joyce Award 2019. From 2015 to 2018 she was a member of the National System of Artistic Creators of Mexico (Mexico’s Endowment for Culture and the Arts). Her work has been exhibited in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Philippines, Russia, Argentina, Canada, US and widely in Mexico.

Viv Corringham is a British vocalist and sound artist, active since the late 1970s. Her work includes concerts, soundwalks, radio works and multi-channel installations. She is interested in exploring people’s sense of place and the link with personal history and memory. She studied and worked with Pauline Oliveros for many years and holds a Certificate to teach Deep Listening. She facilitates workshops in listening and sounding, most recently in Hong Kong, London, Bangalore, New York, Kolkata and Manila. She received two Composer Fellowships from McKnight Foundation, through American Composers Forum. Her work has received international recognition and been presented in twenty five countries on five continents.

Recent work has been presented at Issue Project Room New York Electronic Art Festival, Hong Kong Arts Centre Multichannel Festival, Universities in Bangalore, Calcutta and Delhi, Ftarri Tokyo, Cafe Oto London, Ohrenhoch Sound Gallery Berlin, Taipei University Taiwan, Shantou University China, Onassis Centre Athens Borderline Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art London Soundworks Festival, Brussels Tempo al Tempo Festival, London Discovery Festival, Echoes from Invisible Landscapes Festival Alp-Adriatic Region and Superbudda Torino. 

Invited artist residencies include soundpocket Hong Kong; Harvestworks Media Arts NYC; Interim Srishti Bangalore India, Emily Harvey Foundation Venice; Montalvo Art Center CA; Memorial University Newfoundland; Cal State University US; Sound Meetings Syros Greece; Cobh Art Centre Ireland; Radio Papesse Florence Italy; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Porto Portugal; NAISA Toronto; Soundworks Cork Ireland; Deep Listening Institute NY and Binaural Media Nodar Portugal. Articles about her work have appeared in many publications, including In the Field (UK),
Art of Immersive Soundscapes (Canada), Organised Sound (UK), Musicworks (Canada), Catskill Made (US), Playing With Words (UK) and For Those Who Have Ears (Ireland).

Resonance FM, London’s art radio station, broadcast a three-hour retrospective of her work in 2015. Recordings are available on Innova, Deep Listening, FMR, Linear Obsessional, Slowfoot, NoMansLand, ARC Music, MASH, Slam and other labels.

Pejk Malinovski went to a Marxist kindergarten in his hometown of Copenhagen. He is a poet, translator and radio producer. His radio dramas, conceptual documentaries and sound art pieces have aired on radio stations around the world (including New York’s own WNYC and the BBC) and been shown in museums and galleries. In 2012 he launched Passing Stranger  an audio walking tour of the East Village’s poetry history. He was also the co-creator and host of Thirdear  an online audio magazine and he continues to edit and translate books for Forlaget Basilisk a poet-run publishing house in Copenhagen. In 2014 he won the Prix Europa for his work “Everything, Nothing, Harvey Keitel.”

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Apr 12, 2019 at 8:00 am
Apr 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm
$335.00 – $350.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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