The sixth annual Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association Festival and Conference brought together over 50 leading researchers and practitioners working at the intersections of science, art and technology for three days of festival and conference events at Ulster University, Magee campus and partner venues in the heart of Derry/Londonderry.

With keynotes addresses by Professor Leigh Landy, (De Montfort University and Editor, Organised Sound) and Dr Liz Dobson, (University of Huddersfield and Yorkshire Sound Women Network) and headlining workshops by Nina Richards (Hardware Sound Toys), Gregory Taylor (Max and Gen) and Mark Henrickson (Jitter), a range of specialist and public events explored how sound allows us to transform and redefine communal spaces to create a diversity of imagined sound worlds or autonomous zones.

ISSTA 2016 fostered a range of artistic, technological and academic interventions in Derry/Londonderry exploring the theme of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ).

A TAZ is a space in control of itself, to the extent that it does not recognise outside authority. It can be considered a guerrilla moment of positive revolutionary acts and art, created by a moment of intense uprising and creative disruption.

Against the backdrop of recent geopolitical and economic uncertainty, mass movements of people across territories are coinciding with the beginnings of exclusionary zones in Europe, ISSTA 2016 created a series of Temporary Autonomous Zones–new unmapped and self-determining sonic, conceptual and social spaces–which asserted, for a time, their independence from existing structures through discussions of creative and technological practices and research, and through the artistic works themselves. We were delighted to feature so many artworks which specifically addressed the pressing social issues noted above.

ISSTA 2016 was made possible by the passionate enthusiasm and support of many local venues and organisations. Ulster University provided venues for paper presentations, concerts and workshops. The Nerve Center and FabLab also provided spaces for presentations and workshops. The Void Gallery, The Garden of Reflection, Visit Derry, The Craft Village, St Columb’s Cathedral and Echo Echo Dance Studio hosted sound art installations and performances and local bars and music venues Bennigans and Sandinos hosted two gig nights alongside special editions of the Bennigans film club and quiz night. Our full programme of events can be found here.

ISSTA 2016 was supported by Ulster University’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute, with outreach activities were supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation.