Book | Correspondences in the labyrinth of sounds – Alexandre Castant (Fr) & Philippe Franck (Fr/Be) | Editions La Lettre Volée (Be)

Book | Correspondences in the labyrinth of sounds - Alexandre Castant (Fr) & Philippe Franck (Fr/Be) | Editions La Lettre Volée (Be)


This collection of critical texts (2005-2022) around sound arts constitutes a correspondence – literally and figuratively – between the art critic/writer Alexandre Castant and the artistic curator/sound creator/essayist Philippe Franck, who relates artistic, curatorial, critical and literary projects as well as friendly exchanges carried out over time.

These are journeys but also active listening which are in dialogue with contemporary works and artists whose common denominator is this sound material placed in space, but also in images, networks and various forms.


The main exploratory field is the international sound arts festival City Sonic, created in the Federation Wallonia-Brussels in 2003 by Transcultures under the artistic direction of Philippe Franck, and which Alexandre Castant (who had participated in a first essay dedicated to this experience – City Sonic, sound arts in the city published both in French and English  by La Lette Volée in 2015, under the direction of Philippe Franck) followed and commented on since he started.

The installations, performances and contextual devices, which transform the city which welcomes them during City Sonic, reveal an art of adventurous encounter and fruitful correspondence (from sound creation with visual, poetic, radiophonic, digital, environmental, architectural dimensions, etc.).

More generally, Correspondences in the labyrinth of sounds offers an open and hybrid vision of today’s sound arts considered in their great diversity of practices and aesthetics. We find in this choice of texts which cover nearly twenty years of common critical listening, the affirmed plurality (including in its labyrinthine form: from the conference to the interview, via the chronicle or the report) of these vibrant sonic constellations.

The acquisition of this book also gives access to a compilation of unpublished sound pieces by artists presented as part of City Sonic (in connection with the Transonic label): Stephan Dunkelman, Maja Jantar, Roberto Paci Dalo, Iancu Dumitrescu, Maurice Charles JJ, Gauthier Keyaerts, Christophe Bailleau + aMute, Raymond Delepierre, Gilles Malatray, Isa*Belle+Paradise Now, Quasi una fantasia, Tommy Lawson, Christian Vialard, Lou Joubert, Jessica Manica, Thanas Kas, Alain Wergifosse, Yadleen +A Limb, Dar Zero, Ordinaire…

Alexandre Castant (Fr)

Doctor in aesthetics (University of Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne), Alexandre Castant (Fr) is a professor at the Bourges National School of Art where he leads the seminar L’Atelier Sonore d’esthétique (Sound Workshop of ’Aesthetics).

Essayist, art critic, he has published works on literature and the visual arts (Esthétique de l’image, fictions de Mandiargues, 2001), photography and contemporary images (La photographie dans l’œil des passages, 2004; Écrans de neige, 2014), sound creation and the visual arts (Planètes sonores, 2007; Journal audiobiographique, 2016;  Les Arts sonores, 2017, Les Cahiers du son, collective, 2023); cinema (Mandiargues et le cinéma, 2024) or even the imagination (ImagoDrome, mental images in contemporary art, collective, 2010).

Writer, he is the author of a collection of short stories (Mort d’Athanase Shurail, 2019), a novel (La Nuit sentimentale, 2023) and an opera libretto, based on Voltaire, Micromégas (Ars Musica, 2023).

Philippe Franck (Fr/Be)

Art historian, designer and cultural critic, producer, sound and intermedia creator, Philippe Franck is director/founder of Transcultures, Center of digital and sound cultures (Federation Wallonia-Brussels), City Sonic and Transnumeriques festivals.

He has been artistic curator of numerous other contemporary, audio, hybrid and digital arts events on which he writes regularly in various international publications.

He is also director of the European Creation Nurseries. In addition, he teaches digital arts at the Arts Schools Saint-Luc-Brussels, and sound creation at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels as well as at the Visual Arts School of Mons Arts2.

He is also a member of the CiTu-Paragraphe hypermedia laboratory at the University of Paris 8.


  • “La Lettre Volée” Editions
  • With the support of Transcultures/Transonic