Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art

Live Audio Essays

A man stands on a stage area. He holds a microphone to his face with his right hand and is looking down at a tablet held in his left hand
Dates and Opening times

Galvanizers, SWG3: Thursday 6 June, 8pm


Audio: Sunday 9 June, 7pm


The Barrowland Ballroom: Sunday 23 June, 7pm

Tickets will be available to book in May 2024


100 Eastvale Place
G3 8QG

14 Midland Street
G1 4PP

The Barrowland Ballroom
244 Gallowgate
G4 0TT

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Presented by

The Common Guild 

Supported by

The Common Guild is supported by Creative Scotland. With thanks to SWG3

Describing himself as an audio investigator, Lawrence Abu Hamdan weaves together urgent political narratives that pivot around acoustic experience and sonic memory. Live Audio Essays presents three key performance works by Lawrence, where sound and politics intersect. Two of the three performances have never previously been shown in the UK.

Air Pressure, 2021, A Thousand White Plastic Chairs, 2020, and After SFX, 2018, will each be performed for one night only, each in a different music venue. These performances, delivered in the form of a monologue or live audio essay, present Lawrence’s research and investigative analysis, which is centred around forensic listening, auditory evidence, and the ear-witness as political and legal testimony. Performances feature live percussion, filmed footage and sound design with audio conditions enhanced to support careful listening, a conceptual and political tool for the artist.

The performances present narratives and testimonies that detail violence, oppression, and aggression, offering strategies for political critique and action. Air Pressure draws on research conducted between May 2020-21 into the aerial soundscape of Lebanon, documenting 22,111 instances of Israeli fighter jets and drones in Lebanese airspace. A Thousand White Plastic Chairs draws its scenography from translation techniques deployed during the Nuremberg trials (1945-46) with Lawrence re-performing the asymmetry between technological prowess and the limits of cognitive processing. After SFX is prompted by Lawrence’s investigations into crimes that are heard but not seen.