Kevin T. Allen

Kevin T. Allen

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A stone tape is a material object that has “recorded” the energy of a past event. Widely popularized by British author Nigel Kneale in his 1972 teleplay The Stone Tape, beliefs in the recording ability of objects and environments span the practices of heritage preservation, paranormal investigation, sound and media theory, and spiritual pilgrimage. But if materials do, in fact, record the past, how do contemporary encounters act as instances of playback? Through a focus on sound, hearing, and listening, we will take up this question as an opportunity to interrogate what a sound recording is and what it does. How do we listen to and through material objects? In this talk filmmaker/sound-artist Kevin T. Allen discusses how stone tape theory has influenced and structured his film work and sound design projects.

Kevin T. Allen is an IMA alum, a filmmaker and sound-artist who makes ethnographically imbued films in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, the Wild West, university laboratories, and migrant farm worker communities. He exhibits at numerous venues, including MoMA, Ethnographic Terminalia, Flaherty NYC, Margaret Mead Film Festival, Union Docs, Berlin Directors Lounge, San Francisco Cinematheque, NY Film Festival, Experiments in Cinema, Flex Fest, NW Film Forum, Chicago Underground Film Festival, and Ann Arbor Film Festival. His sound work is featured at museums and festivals, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Third Coast International Audio Festival, Center for Documentary Research, The New Museum, Danish Architecture Center, and Deep Wireless Festival of Radio Art. His recent research leads him to find culture not exclusively in human forms, but also inherent in physical landscapes and material objects. He teaches documentary practice, sound, and 16mm filmmaking at The New School and advanced sound design at Rutgers University. His work is funded through The Jerome Foundation.

Sponsored by: IMA Program