Dr Joel Stern is a researcher, curator, and artist living in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia. He holds the position of Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at School of Media and Communication, RMIT University. Informed by a background in experimental music and sonic art, Stern’s work focusses on how practices of sound and listening inform and shape our contemporary worlds.
In 2020, with fellow artist-researchers Sean Dockray and James Parker, Joel founded Machine Listening, a platform for collaborative research and artistic experimentation, focused on the political and aesthetic dimensions of the computation of sound and speech. The collective works across diverse media and modes of production. In addition to research, writing, and artworks, Machine Listening have produced an expanded curriculum, conceived as an experiment in collective learning and community formation.
Machine Listening emerged out of Stern’s previous work, with James Parker, on Eavesdropping, a multifaceted project staged at Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, and City Gallery, Wellington, addressing the capture and control of our sonic worlds, alongside strategies of resistance. Eavesdropping comprised a touring exhibition, public programs, reading groups and publication, made in collaboration with artists, researchers, writers, and activists from Australia and around the world.
Between 2013 and 2022 Stern was Artistic Director of pioneering Australian organisation Liquid Architecture, helping establish it as one of the worlds leading forums for sonic art.
Joel will be part of the Automating Public Culture conversation.