Robin James

Sound Semiotics of the Kitchen
sound/digital social media
7.31 x 9.5 in.

“Sound Semiotics of the Kitchen” is a social media sound work based on Martha Rosler’s 1975 video “Semiotics of the Kitchen.” It examines the ways traditional public/private distinctions have been reworked, complicated, or voided by the structural changes in the economy, social relations, and subjectivity brought about by neoliberalism. It also interrogates the relationships between sound, gender, the domestic, and social media. In the gallery, viewers can interact with the work in two ways: (1) socially, on a tablet computer, and (2) privately, on their personal electronic devices, via this link (, or by a QR code printed on cards displayed next to the tablet computer.

Robin James’s work focuses on the role of sound in contemporary forms of knowledge, value, pleasure, embodiment, and capital. With a practical background in classical and popular music performance, and an academic background in music and philosophy, James uses sound art as a way to creatively examine the issues in feminist/queer/critical race/disability studies, continental philosophy, and music studies that she explore in her theoretical writing. Her theoretical work addresses the interaction between musical/audiological institutions and systems of political organization (like gender or race). She blogs about all of this at

© Robin James