Manual Eardrums
Judy Dunaway

Manual Eardrums is about seeing sound with your hands, via holding an inflated latex balloon. In this interactive sound installation, listening with the ears is not the intention, but rather surfing the sound waves by feeling them as they mutate, shift and change through the space. The gallery is stripped bare of visual material, save for the bodies of the installation visitors moving freely through the space as they explore the ever changing acoustic patterns. Each visitor will be provided an inflated latex balloon and instructions for how to participate.

Since the 1990s, Judy Dunaway’s art practice has centered primarily around the latex balloon as a sound conduit combined with an inherent visual and sculptural aspect. A daughter of feminist art of the 60s and 70s, her ephemeral medium connects to the body by direct contact. Balloons are malleable, touchable, they hold the breath and the substance itself is like a skin. Twenty years ago, after completing two years of experimental composition studies with Alvin Lucier, Dunaway created the sound installation Manual Eardrums in response to Lucier’s minimalist obliteration of personal experience in his iconic work “I am sitting in a room.” Manual Eardrums extends his ideas back into the realm of a physical and intimate reality. This project is presented by Ensemble Ipse Siteworks Series.

About Judy Dunaway
Judy Dunaway has presented her works internationally at numerous major venues, festivals, museums and galleries, including Academy of Media Arts Cologne; Alternative Museum, Audio Art Festival 2016 Krakow; Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA); Cafe Oto (London); Bang on a Can Festival; Everson Art Museum; Frau Musica Nova (Germany); the Guelph Jazz Festival; Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors; Mass MoCA; New Museum of Contemporary Art; Performance Space 122; Podewil (Berlin); Roulette; Roy and Edna Disney Center; STEIM (Netherlands); and Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM). Her awards/grants/residencies include Elektronmusikstudion Stockholm, New York State Music Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund Recording Grant, the American Composers Forum’s Composers Commissioning Fund, ZKM, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more about Judy, visit her online at

About Ensemble Ipse
Ensemble Ipse is a 501(c)(3) contemporary music ensemble dedicated to showcasing the wide variety of practices in the current new music scene. The ensemble presents concerts of recent music that transcends aesthetic categorization and strives to create a forum for composers on the edges of the mainstream of contemporary music. With this in mind, Ensemble Ipse is committed to performing and commissioning the music of emerging composers, as well as composers who have been traditionally under-represented in the larger new music community, including women, LGBTQ, and people of color.

Since forming in 2016, Ipse has premiered 22 works, 5 of them commissions; done calls for scores for emerging composers which have received over 700 applicants; received support from the New York State Council on the Arts, New Music USA, the Queens Council on the Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University; and released an album on New World Records in May, 2019.

For more about Ensemble Ipse, visit them online at

Photo credit: Karen Westphalen

Ensemble Ipse’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Join our mailing list.

675 3rd Ave,
32nd floor,
New York, NY 10017
© 2020
Privacy Policy