Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.
This panel discussion and conversation with artist Khaled Kaddal examines The Formula of Giving Heart as a piercing study of our contemporary socio-political environment. Drawing from a variety of theoretical and creative perspectives, the panellists variously explore such themes as the global increase in physical confinement(s), the rise of cybernetics and biodata, and the continued privileging of contemporary science/medicine as distinct from other historical practices of healing. Exploring these phenomena amid a backdrop of global precarity, The Formula for Giving Heart forges fascinating linkages between seemingly disparate phenomena. It demonstrates how spatial imprisonment exists in and through hyperlinked and technologized (global) networks, ancient Pharaonic languages map onto and exist as contemporary (computer) code, and apparently distinct socio-political events—from the Coronavirus pandemic to the 2011 Egyptian revolution—can feel familiar through the very extraordinary nature of their temporal and affective regimes. Exploring these themes through the world premiere of Kaddal’s newest work, this panel broadly considers our present moment as well as the shifting nature of sonic and visual performance during a time of global crisis and ever increasing technologization.
Christopher Haworth is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of Birmingham. His scholarly interests lie in the broad areas of electronic music and sound art, which he researches using a mixture of historiographic, philosophical, and ethnographic research methods. He is currently researching the short-lived 'cyber theory' moment that accompanied mid-1990s hype for the internet and World Wide Web in Britain, and he was previously an AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellow on Music and the Internet: Towards a Digital Sociology of Music. He also composes computer music, often incorporating principles from psychoacoustics, music psychology, and cybernetics.
Khaled Kaddal is a Nubian visual artist and sound performer, raised in Egypt and currently resident in London. Allaying science and politics, spirituality and technology, he works with two interdependent abstractions; ‘Immortality of Time’ and ‘Sovereignty of Space’, in search for the imperishable balance between intelligence, emotions and moral judgments. Recent solo show at Overgaden Institut for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen; group exhibitions include ‘One the Edge’ at Science Gallery, London; ’10 Years of Production’ at Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; ‘What do you mean, here we are?’ at Mosaic Rooms Gallery, London; ‘Art Olympics’ at Tokyo Metropolitan ArtMuseum, Tokyo; Performances at ‘Keep quite and Dance’ at Cairotronica Symposium, Cairo; Zentrum der Kunster Hellerau, Dresden; and ‘Daily Concerns’ at Dilston Grove Gallery, London. Kaddal has an upcoming show at 5th Biennale Internationale de Casablanca, Morocco; and a Resident Fellow at Uniarts Helsinki, Finland. He studied Computer Science at AAST (EG), and Sound Art at the University of the Arts London (UK).
Darci Sprengel is an ethnomusicologist and Junior Research Fellow in Music at St John’s College, University of Oxford. Her research examines contemporary music in Egypt at the intersections of technology, capitalism, and politics. She is currently completing her first book, 'Postponed Endings': Youth Music and Affective Politics in Post-Revolution Egypt, which examines Egyptian independent music in relation to conditions of military-capitalism. She has two additional research projects. The first analyses music streaming technologies in the global South using a feminist and critical race approach to digital media. The second explores the influence of sub-Saharan African culture in Egyptian popular culture.
Christabel Stirling is a musicologist specialising in ethnographic approaches to music and sound art in contemporary urban environments. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow on the ERC-funded project ‘Sonorous Cities: Towards a Sonic Urbanism’, based at the Music Faculty at the University of Oxford. Her research explores the social relations and coalitions that music and sound produce in their live forms, focusing particularly on the potential for such coalitions to transform or reinforce existing social and spatial orders.