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If art is the headline act, live music and forums have always been the stalwart supporting bands.

Outside of the traditional academic lecture, learning about art has meant listening in to numerous panels, symposia and floor talks. Alongside the attractive immediacy of oral culture were the performative elements; the subtle signalling of how talking about art and ideas should look.

In Melbourne, especially, art is intimately linked with live music. It was in pubs and clubs that the business of making a scene—of conjuring up a post-punk version of avant-garde bohemia—was undertaken. As I began talking with artists about connections between art and music, I realised that I’d encountered many of them earlier when we unknowingly rubbed shoulders at gigs.

The dialogue between art and popular music has been central to my research for many years, ‘Listening’ gathers past publications and current reflections.

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