Women In Sound Women on Sound (WISWOS) identifies the need for action to tackle issues of inequality and gender bias in sound and music technology.

Rebecca Collins, Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory at Edinburgh College of Art, is a co-organiser of this research group, working alongside colleagues from institutions around the world.

WISWOS is an international hub of networks and individuals, including artists, researchers, technologists, musicians and archivists with an interest in sound, technology and education. This network plays a pivotal role in supporting this interventionist activity. Our core aim is to interrupt the gender gap by highlighting the work of women who are writing, and creating in the sonic arts.

Our goals begin with making visible women who work in the multitudinous areas of sound from music technology to sound art, sound and society to the politics of sound, and every area in between. We are doing this by creating event spaces for presenting workshops - symposiums - peer-to-peer networking events and performance/exhibition opportunities. We also aim to explore how secondary school education shapes girl’s participation in the fields of music technology and the sonic arts.


Our goals begin with making visible women who work in the multitudinous areas of sound from music technology to sound art, sound and society to the politics of sound, and every area in between.

Our current project, ‘Research in a Box: Activating Women in Sound’ (RIB), funded by the University of Lancaster, aims to make practical pedagogical interventions to bring women and young girls into inclusive learning zones.

The project consists of three main strands. The first is an online learning space with video tutorials on diverse topics including Sonic Pi and audio engineering. The second is an online interactive space helps browsers to locate the work of female authors, both contemporary and historic, in new and engaging ways. The third strand is a loanable box aimed at GCSE or A-Level school students. The box contents include a series of toolkits for would be noisemakers to construct their own instrument, CDs of women composers and publications by female academics on sound and music technology, as well as open access live coding software to install on most operating systems.The overarching aim of this project is to inspire the next generation of researchers and to aid in the transition of pupils from school to University.

WISWOS was established in 2015 at Lancaster University by Linda O’Keeffe as a space to showcase women’s contributions to computer music (the use of computer technology to compose and perform music), the sonic arts and sound studies. Since then, the network has collaborated with people from across the world and continues to instigate initiatives to tackle the industry’s gender gap. Rebecca Collins (Edinburgh College of Art) co-organisers the network alongside O’Keeffe, Tony Doyle (UK/IRE), Diana Chester (US), Joanna Helms and core network members including Iris Garrelfs and Patricia Alessandrini (Goldsmiths University), Isabel Nogeiura (Brazil) SONORA, Octopus Collective, Yorkshire Women’s Sound Network and the Peter Scott Gallery. The network is always open to new members of supporting organisations.

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