“Sound Structures and Site: An Evening with Mendi and Keith Obadike,” an event exploring the effect of noise on culture, will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27 at TechWorks on Water Street in Downtown Binghamton.
According to Jennifer Stoever, professor of English at Binghamton University, the event grew out of a class she is leading this semester.
“[The event is] part of a course I am co-teaching with Cinema Professor Monteith McCollum called ‘Sound, Sites, and Publics,’” she wrote in an email. “It’s a one-time only course where students are building sound art installations to debut in Downtown Binghamton on the May 4th First Friday Event.”
The broader projects from that class focus on discovering and amplifying the sounds of the city of Binghamton. Students study the effect of communication and noise on culture, but also engage with Binghamton residents in a new way.
Jake Poulos, a junior majoring in history, said he is particularly interested in the event’s location.
“It’s kind of rare that we get a good academic event Downtown,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how art and history will be discussed in a more open environment, where both locals and students can interact. It should be cool.”
Mendi and Keith Obadike, who are artists, musicians, writers and academics, will discuss the progress of their research and work. Drawing on their professional and academic experiences, which includes installing a piece at Northwestern University called “Big House/Disclosure,” the speakers will demonstrate what sound art means to them and show students the cultural and artistic significance of the field.
The talk will be held at TechWorks to allow both BU students and local residents a chance to attend. Stoever said that this decision was made because her project is committed to accessibility.
“We wanted to host an event that would welcome both students and longterm residents of the city,” she wrote. “Events at the university can be off-putting and difficult to navigate for local residents, and our ethos is dedicated to breaking down as many of those barriers as possible.