ATC Lecture: Tarek Atoui, “DeafSpace and Making Musical Instruments”


——————————-ATC VIDEO NOW LIVE——————————-

The video recording of Tarek Atoui’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium Lecture “DeafSpace and Making Musical Instruments” is now live! The video can be viewed below. Tarek Atoui gave a riveting talk on making instrumentation for the deaf and hard of hearing, and the DeafSpace Project developed by the Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.


Last night Monday, March 10, Tarek Atoui gave a riveting talk on making instrumentation for the deaf and hard of hearing, and the DeafSpace Project developed by the Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. His talk touched upon recreating the sound of archived instruments, on origin of DeafSpace project as a way to connect the body of the performer to the body of audience as vibration, and how the insight of deaf students helped Tarek Atoui & artists to reconsider not just their relationship with each other but in space. Challenging the relationships between sound, vibrations, instruments, and the body, a lively Q&A discussion followed the lecture.

Check out photographs and tweets from the lecture below, and visit the Flickr album of the event!


We’re delighted by the interest in the series this year, and we thank you for your patience as we try to create the best system to accommodate all who are interested in attending. Our RSVP methods have proved fickle, with significant attrition some nights, and oversubscribed attendance on others. Hence, for the rest of the series, the ATC series will revert to, yes, analogue methods. From now on, seating will be based only on place in line. Anyone who arrives by 7pm is almost certain to get in, with chances decreasing as the the line lengthens. Please know that we will also set up an audio feed for overflow, and the video will be posted online as soon as possible!

Atoui is an electro-acoustic musician who initiates and curates multidisciplinary interventions, events, concerts and workshops in Europe and the Middle East.

Atoui will present several of his ongoing projects, each of which propose original methods for making instruments that open possibilities for collaboration, performance and composition. His process draws on the history of electronic instrumentation as he explores autonomous aspects of sound production beyond human control, while encouraging community input and collaborative interaction. With his unconventional instruments and radical rethinking of soundscapes, Atoui sees his role as both a conductor and a musician.

In the Dahlem Sessions and the Reverse Sessions, Atoui inverted the order in which instruments are usually created, using the sounds of a collection of ethnic musical instruments located in the Dahlem Museum of Ethnology in Berlin as a starting point for imagining and building new instruments. This project was first presented in the 2014 Berlin Biennial and expanded in a solo exhibition presented at kurimanzutto gallery in Mexico City. For his MATRIX project at BAM/PFA, Atoui will build on WITHIN, a project that he initiated in Sharjah (UAE) in 2013, which is based on a series of conversations and collaborations with students from a school for the deaf.

Tarek Atoui was born in Lebanon in 1980 and moved to Paris in 1998 where he studied contemporary and electronic music at the French National Conservatory of Reims. Co-artistic director of the STEIM Studios, Amsterdam (2008), Atoui released his first solo album in the Mort Aux Vaches series for the label Staalplaat (Amsterdam/Berlin) in 2006-07. He builds new software for each project and specialises in creating computer tools for interdisciplinary art forms and youth education.

Recent productions and performances have taken place in Fondation Louis Vuitton, France (2014), the Louvre, France (2013), Bonniers Konsthall, Sweden (2013), the Bienal de Mercosul, Brazil (2013), the Sharjah Biennal, United Arab Emirates (2013), and the Ruhr Triennal, Germany (2013). Much of Atoui’s work references social and political realities and presents music and new technologies as powerful tools of expression and identity. His pioneering youth workshop, Empty Cans, has been presented in France, Holland, Lebanon, Egypt, and in New York, as part of his Museum as Hub residency at the New Museum.

Atoui has been featured in the New Yorker.
To hear more of his music, visit his MySpace or Soundcloud page.

Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium is an internationally recognized forum for presenting new ideas that challenge conventional wisdom about art, technology, and culture. This series, free of charge and open to the public, presents artists, writers, curators, and scholars who consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies, and cultural history, from a critical perspective.

For the first time ever, the 2014/15 lecture series will be co-presented by the Arts Research Center, the Berkeley Center for New Media, and The David Brower Center, and will focus on the legacy of the Free Speech Movement here on the Berkeley Campus. All lectures will take place at The David Brower Center from 7:30-9:00pm.

Visit the ATC Colloquium’s home page at for tickets, directions, a list of speakers, and to join the mailing list.

Photo Credit: Tanya Traboulsi
Homepage Photo Credit: Miha Fras

Copresented with the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and the MATRIX Program. The MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art introduces the Bay Area community to exceptional work being made internationally, nationally, and locally, creating a rich connection to the current dialogues on contemporary art and demonstrating that the art of this moment is vital, dynamic, and often challenging. Confronting traditional practices of display and encouraging new, open modes of analysis, MATRIX provides an experimental framework for an active interchange between the artist, the museum, and the viewer. There have been hundreds of shows at BAM/PFA since the program’s inception in 1978.