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Public Newsroom 82: Woodlawn Soundwalk with Norman Long

Public Newsroom 82: Woodlawn Soundwalk with Norman Long
Thursday, October 11, 5:30-8:00PM
(Note: We will depart from
Build Coffee at 5:30 for the soundwalk)

We’re teaming up with City Bureau; The Fest, curated by Third Coast International Audio Festival; and the Smart Museum of Art to bring contemporary local artist Norman Long to the Public Newsroom (hosted weekly by City Bureau).

Long, born and raised Chicago’s South Side, will create a captivating experience that ties sound and place. We’ll be kicking off the evening early at 5:30pm with a soundwalk around Woodlawn. Long’s walks develop over time as well as space and engage audiences by reorienting their sense of site through active listening. Following the walk, Long will lead a discussion about his work and its connections to living in a neighborhood, as well as how the walks tie in with journalistic practices. Then he'll wrap up with a live sound mixing demo. We'll have drinks and snacks after the newsroom for those who want to stick around and chat. 

This event is part of City Bureau's #PublicNewsroom programming, a series of free, weekly workshops and discussions aimed at building trust between journalists and the communities they serve while shaping a more inclusive newsroom.

It is included as part of The Fest, curated by Third Coast International Audio Festival. The Fest is a two-week lineup of events across Chicago that push the boundaries of live audio storytelling, curated by Third Coast. Check all of the shows in their 2018 lineup at 

Lastly, it is being hosted in connection with the Smart Museum’s exhibition The Time is Now!

For more information, please contact Matthew Searle at or 773.241.6044. You can let us know you are coming on the FB Event page.

What is a soundwalk? It is a guided exploration of a site using listening focused skills. We will listen to how the site sounds, as we are moving through it. I believe that through listening we have a tool to define communities and ourselves. We also can use those tools to shape who we are and where we live. We will be listening for changes, interactions, conditions, weather, traffic, animals, insects, people, vehicles and other factors in what makes a place what it is. We start by listening in our own silence. Being mindful of our own consciousness.  Then we focus on how we sound as we move throughout the site. We then expand our listening to what is near to us, what just passed us and then what is ahead.

At the end of the walk we should be able to answer the following questions:

How do these sounds define where you are on the site? What sounds are constant? What sounds change the site? What moves through it? What are the durations? What do you expect to hear? What did you remember hearing? What sounds do you like? What sounds don’t you like?

Norman W. Long (b. 1973, Chicago, IL) is an artist/composer and. His practice involves walking, collecting, performing and recording to create objects, environments and situations in which he and the audience are engaged in dialogues about memory space, value, silence and the invisible. He has performed and exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center (1998), Experimental Sound Studio, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Hungryman Gallery, Harold Washington College, Chicago Artists Coalition Gallery, Links Hall, Elastic, and the Arts Club for the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival. Norman has received 3Arts Award for Sound Art in 2012, 3Arts Djerassi (Woodside, CA) Artists Residency Fellowship in 2014, BOLT Artist in Residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition in 2014-2015, 3Arts Fellowship at AS220 (Providence, RI) 2017 Artist in Residence program, 3Walls RaD Lab Fellow for 2017-2018 and Guest Composer at EMS Elektronmusikstudion, Stockholm, Sweden made possible in part by the City of Chicago’s DCASE grant.

My practice involves walking, collecting, performing and recording to create, objects, environments and situations in which the audience and myself are engaged in an open-ended dialogue about memory, space, value, silence and the invisible. I have found inspiration with emerging practices and thinking of 1970s artists, musicians, critics and designers regarding landscape and sound- specifically Rosalind Krauss’ article “Sculpture in the Expanded Field”, the advent of dub reggae, and the development of the acoustic ecology by R. Murray Schafer.

The processes involved in my practice lie within the area of field recording, sound walks, electro-acoustic composition, mapping, data bending, video and installation. These pieces reflect culture, ecology and history of the places I record.  It is my desire that my practice offer us a space to consider our relationship to sound via social, political, economic, historical and ecological structures, our interiority and to affirm our existence.

The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE), established in 2009, is a membership organization dedicated to exploring the role of sound in natural habitats and human societies, while promoting public dialogue concerning the identification, preservation, and restoration of natural and cultural sound environments.