Dr Joel Stern is an Associate Investigator at the RMIT University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S).

Joel Stern is a researcher, curator, and artist living in Naarm / Melbourne, Australia.  

Informed by his background in DIY and experimental music scenes, Stern’s work focusses on how social, political, and technical practices of sound and listening inform and shape our contemporary worlds.  

In 2013, Stern was appointed Artistic Director of pioneering Australian sonic art organisation Liquid Architecture, a position which he held until 2022. In this capacity Stern has produced and curated numerous festivals, exhibitions, concerts and publications in Australia and internationally, while developing artistic research investigations and programs including Eavesdropping, Machine Listening, Polyphonic Social, Why Listen?, Instrument Builders Project, and Ritual Community Music.  

In 2018, with James Parker of Melbourne Law School, Stern curated Eavesdropping, a multifaceted project staged at Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, and City Gallery, Wellington, addressing the capture and control of our sonic worlds by state and corporate interests, alongside strategies of resistance.

Eavesdropping comprised a touring exhibition, public programs, research and reading groups and an edited publication, made in collaboration with artists, researchers, writers, and activists from Australia and around the world. This project also formed the basis of Stern’s PhD thesis ‘Eavesdropping: The Politics, Ethics, and Art of Listening’ completed in 2020 through the Curatorial Practice program at Monash University.  

In 2020, with James Parker, and artist and writer Sean Dockray, Stern founded Machine Listening Curriculum, a critical platform for research, sharing, and artistic experimentation, focused on new and emerging forms of listening grounded in artificial intelligence and machine learning. In March 2022, Stern stepped down as Artistic Director of Liquid Architecture to begin a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at RMIT School of Media and Communication to continue to develop his work on machine listening.