[-empyre-] Listening, at times

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Oct 7 04:53:46 EST 2011

dear all:

<After a long short struggle I managed to scribble some words. I am sending it here in an open form, and as an attachment as well,
as I do not know what is the right procedure.  take care. Amos Hetz >

i paused to return to this posting where Amos reports on his long short struggle to scribble words on our theme of (Sebastian reminds me of the correct scripture) "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration" ,
and then wonders what is the right procedure.   Yes, what is the right procedure? 

I take this to be a very positive sign, for our month's forum, namely that as participants passed/past and present, or awaiting to join the ensemble, we will become experts, as Michael implored us to think, or we might move into a more empathetic mode of contact improvisation of this can be done over the network and i think it can.........
the participating is listening, as all of you have so poignantly pointed out, in your remarkable and thoughtful writings,  bodies or bodyminds tuned to others which are moving in the group and discovering moments of speed or stillness, as Fabrizio suggests. what then do you explore or find (as knowledge might be created) in these moments?   

Michael's reflections, and Sebastian's questions  (expanded on by Elisita and Amos) which will continue as night falls, are addressing, next to existential and philosophical or ethical matters, also the inroads, the ensounding movement of physical creativity, into academies, or centers/institutions of learning and knowledge, sciences and discourses, scribbles. This is a serious matter, which i had not pondered all too much before, i naturally assumed dance or movement art was belittled by academies and sciences, and so that's that. And I am personally also less interested in issues of intuition or creativity  [ and the self-indulgences Amos warns against] being posed up and against other method actings (in hard sciences or discourse-intensified art forms or also, not to forget, the popular and mass cultures, huge participatory spaces and networks). 

Last night i listened to an australian performer speak about her work in performance and vlogging (multiple selves generated and sustained on YouTube over a long period of time). As i watched her acting on camera, i was reminded of the questions that also came up when we (in the Choreolab) moved about, in that privileged peaceful setting, as Sebastian admits, when we were listening moving, and moved in the group outside on the grassy plots, or inside the dance studio.  There was something remarkable and rich, in also realizing how our senses of course are active in particular ways moving (the walking body)  - i think anthropologist Tim Ingold has worked on this subject, using the phrase “hearing in” when he addresses such perception,  the experience of sound in movement, experienced, like breath or like the wind, as a movement of coming and going, inspiration and expiration, looking at the sky as we would when we take in our impressions of weather, being, as Ingold implies, connected metereologicially and, i gather, irregularly. 

I quote from Ingold: 

"To follow sound, that is to listen, is to wander the same paths. Attentive listening, as opposed to passive hearing, surely entails the very opposite of emplacement. We may, in practice, be anchored to the ground, but it is not sound that provides the anchor. Again the analogy with flying a kite is apposite. Though the flyer’s feet may be firmly planted on the spot, it is not the wind that keeps them there. Likewise, the sweep of sound continually endeavours to tear listeners away, causing them to surrender to its movement. It requires an effort to stay in place. And this effort pulls against sound rather than harmonising with it. Place confinement, in short, is a form of deafness." [1]

thank you all for everything so far, and may we ask others to join in, please?

Johannes Birringer

[1]  Tim Ingold,  “Against Soundscape,” in Angus Carlyle (ed.), Autumn. Leaves: Sound and the Environment in Artistic Practice (Paris: Double Entendre, 2007), pp. 10-13. See also his “The eye of the storm: visual perception and the weather,” Visual Studies 20:2 (2005),  97-104.


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