Christchurch has become a rich source of sonic art, boasting a growing body of respected practitioners with increasingly strong national and even international reputations. Despite this, it has previously not had a permanent space devoted to this increasingly important arm of contemporary art in the city. With the help of CNZ and the Christchurch City Council, the Cantabrian Society of Sonic Artists Inc. established the first iteration of the Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery in October 2013 to support the further development of the sonic arts in Ōtautahi. This Auricle 1.0 operated through to May 2016. In August 2016 it re-emerged as The Auricle 2.0 with its move to The Darkroom building on St Asaph’s St. It existed at this venue until it closed its doors in June 2017 with its final Audacious Decade Festival, which celebrated 10 years of events run by the Borderline Ballroom group, the arts collective that managed the gallery for the wider Cantabrian Society of Sonic Artists (CSSA) society.
The Auricle had a monthly exhibition and regular performance programme featuring local, national and international sonic artists in its octophonic gallery. We held sonic arts workshops and artist seminars and welcomed all sonic arts practitioners across the full spectrum of sound, from industrial noise to new music, free jazz and contemporary sound art. The Auricle provided a relaxed space for challenging listening and a regular live venue for performative audio experimentation. It supported local practitioners working on the peripheries of music and sound, while offering a resource for national and international performers touring New Zealand’s South Island.
The CSSA is a cross-genre and non-hierarchical sonic arts society, interested in providing an outlet for musicians, composers and audio artists investigating live sonic experimentation of any variety. If you would like more details, or have any questions about the organisation, please contact us.