Ethics of Listening (2018)

Salomé Voegelin

About this exposition

Recently, I was away, in another country. It looked and sounded not unlike this one, with streets, trees, houses, people and their dogs. The people had eyes, ears and mouths, just like us. They looked, listened and spoke. But since I could not recognize what I heard in the acoustic environment around me from the way they talked about it, I had to assume that they heard it all very differently. Instead of considering the source or quality of a sound, its location and distance or even its reason, they spoke in terms of action only. Theirs was not a discussion of “what was being done,” but was a “being done,” doing, always now, without defining a doing subject nor arriving at a resulting object. They did not comment on what made a specific sound, but spoke making the sound. Their words phrased the particular and focused narration of doing heard, becoming another heard doing. The understanding reached did not substantiate nor position the heard, instead it beckoned movement; sonic gestures held momentarily and precariously in my ears as an idea of the heard, whose source had by that time become irrelevant, and whose destination was my own sound, which in turn did not translate the heard but became another sonic thing altogether - the semantic substance of doing conveyed to my listener.
typeresearch exposition
last modified27/06/2018
share statusprivate
licenseAll rights reserved
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue02. Issue 2

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