ArtsEverywhere is a platform for artistic experimentation and exploration of the fault lines of modern society.
Speaking and Listening, Improvised and Autonomous

ArtsEverywhere, and its host organization, Musagetes, are deeply invested in practices of improvisation, musically and otherwise. One of our partners, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, based at the University of Guelph, has developed an extensive body of practice-based academic research on applications of improvisation in many fields of civic society: justice, health, technology, decolonization, interspecies communication, and so on. As a result of this research, numerous essays and commentaries on ArtsEverywhere reflect on vocality, performativity, communicating, and listening.

In What is the First Sound from the Future, ArtsEverywhere’s Editor-in-Chief, Shawn Van Sluys, wrote an editorial that asks, “Does technology give greater voice to the silent, the silenced, and the voiceless? Or does it subsume a plurality of expressions into one voice — the dull monotony of layered MIDI-synth’d oomph, constrained by the limitations of zeros and ones?”

In an excerpt from his book, Improvising Freely: The ABCs of an Experience, Lê Quan Ninh recommends cultivating a taste for autonomy through improvisation: “We can try to provide avenues which allow one to be more conscious of the need to listen, all the while knowing that this effort references the fundamental demands of a discipline that can only be learned very slowly, extremely slowly.”

Jeannette Hicks offers a taste of what she learned at Musical Improvisation at Land’s End (MILE) in Gaspé, Quebec: “Communicating across linguistic difference requires shifting the emphasis away from achieving ‘perfect’ linguistic performance and towards compassionate listening. We can never be ready enough, or perfect enough. But we can be present.”

Deep Listening at the End of the World

Jeannette Hicks, Guelph 

Deep Listening at the End of the World[1] I’m sitting beside the ocean at the end of the world singing with a wave. A rhythmic low whoosh, and a building sigh–             hhhhhwAAAAAAaaaannsss                                     ssshhaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAnnng……. Around me, perched...

Improvising Freely: The ABCs of an Experience

Lê Quan Ninh, Saint-Silvain-sous-Toulx, France 
Karen Houle, Guelph, Ontario 

The following text is excerpted from Lê Quan Ninh’s book, Improvising Freely: The ABCs of an Experience, translated from the French by Karen Houle with assistance from Pegleess Barrios & Melissa Chong Ah Yan. The book is available for purchase from PS Guelph ( Abécédaire (An ABC) This book is an attempt to describe my own experience as an improviser and...

From the Editors: What is the first sound from the future?

Shawn Van Sluys, Guelph, Ontario 

When Musagetes conceptualized ArtsEverywhere in early 2015, we determined that many voices must be present side-by-side across all of the issues and themes that intersect throughout the online platform. (Read here about the themes of ArtsEverywhere.) We wanted ArtsEverywhere not only to feature the ideas and insights of artists and cultural workers, but also those of policy makers, educators, scientists,...


The Beatles of Sudan: 200 songs banished from Khartoum to Norway

Ray Mwareya, Harare

Abazar Hamid’s soft-molded voice offers little about a man whose 200 songs has earned him brutal expulsion from the oil-rich African state of Sudan when his lyrics angered Mr. Omar Al Bashir, the world’s first sitting president to be indicted for genocide. “I’m Abazar Hamid, 44, from central Sudan, 200...

Open Letter from documenta 14 artists:
On the emancipatory possibility of decentered exhibitions

documenta 14 Artists, Athens & Kassel

We the undersigned artists, writers, musicians, and researchers who participated in various chapters of the current documenta 14– Exhibition, Parliament of Bodies, South as a State of Mind, Listening Space, Keimena, Studio 14, An Education, EMST collection, and Every Time A Ear di Soun– wish to share some thoughts about...

Belonging as a Cultural Right

Arlene Goldbard, Lamy, New Mexico

This article originally appeared in the Journal of Othering & Belonging and is reprinted with permission of the author and the publishers at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. The US Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) may sound like a government agency, but unlike the National Endowment...