[-empyre-] Thursday, 19th: Hearing and Listening

Semitransgenic acousmatique at gmail.com
Fri Jun 20 02:06:10 EST 2014

Hi Seth,

not sure I can agree with this : ) "The fatigue with the language of
conceptual art expressed by Semitransgenic strikes me as a response to the
very difficult and neverending work of resisting the dominant vocabularies
of our times and places" and actually, the very sentence *"**a response to
the very difficult and neverending work of resisting the dominant
vocabularies of our times and places"* is artspeak ; )

Unfortunately, like it or not, within the "art-world" IAE is a
dominant vocabulary,
it really has gone beyond a joke at this point.

* "**Will the hegemony of IAE, to use a very IAE term, ever end? Rule and
Levine think it soon might. Now that competence in IAE is almost a given
for art professionals, its allure as an exclusive private language is
fading. When IAE goes out of fashion, they write, 'We probably shouldn't
expect that the globalised art world's language will become ... inclusive.
More likely, the elite of that world will opt for something like
conventional highbrow English.'"*

On 19 June 2014 15:27, Seth Kim-Cohen <seth at kim-cohen.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello All
> Nice to be with you and thanks, Jim, for the invitation to participate.
> Art that engages sound is not a special case. The same obligations obtain,
> and the same privileges too. The fetishization of audio technology hearkens
> back to half-century-old discussions of the "material support" of visual
> artworks. Why should we care if the painting is on canvas or linen?
> Likewise, should we know or want to know if it's Supercollider or Max or a
> CD? Similarly, why is listening isolated, idealized, and idolized?
> Ultimately, the interactions that sustain interest and importance are not
> those between sound waves and eardrums, but between ideologies and
> economies, between societies and subjects, between history and
> concentrations of power.
> The fatigue with the language of conceptual art expressed by
> Semitransgenic strikes me as a response to the very difficult and
> neverending work of resisting the dominant vocabularies of our times and
> places. Such vocabularies are so pervasive as to operate transparently and
> to be adopted unproblematically as natural. The best "international
> art-speak" of the past fifty years has taken it upon itself to sprinkle
> sand in the gears of the cultural-industrial machinery. Of course, the
> machinery constantly recoups this sand as raw material for further
> manufacture. This recuperation produces both our collective fatigue and the
> demand for further "innovation" (I use the term cautiously) in the
> strategies and modes of alternative meaning-making.
> I fear - genuinely, I do - that our collective recourse to technology, to
> listening, to mute materiality, is a signal of retreat from the ubiquity of
> cultural-ecnomic hegemony. Sound schmound. Let's think about the
> relationships artworks create between audiences, institutions, conventions,
> ideas, and philosophies. Then we're on to something.
> Kindest regards to you all
> Seth
> ________________
> www.kim-cohen.com
> On Jun 19, 2014, at 9:09 AM, Jim Drobnick wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> For today, Thursday, 19th, our focus will be on "Hearing and Listening."
> While these topics may have been addressed in the past through perceptual
> or phenomenological  methods, the questions by Jennifer Fisher, Eldritch
> Priest and Salomé Voegelin hint at the affective, bodily and political
> forces implicitly at work during this activity. Too often it is assumed
> that hearing or listening merely involves a passive transfer of sensory
> data, as if the ear were merely a conduit for information. But it's clear
> that the ear is subject to socialization and bias, training and discipline,
> personal idiosyncracies, and influence by the surrounding environment. The
> 3 questions today, then, seek to reflect upon the effects of such
> influences when attending to audio art:
> 1) Jennifer Fisher: What is the significance of spatial resonance and
> affect when listening to sound art? How do hearing and proprioception
> combine in formations of resonance?  How might the resonances of ambient
> space -- whether a museum, concert hall or other venue -- operate
> contextually in curating sound art? My sense is that resonance operates
> somewhat differently from vibration: if vibration stems from the tactile
> sensing of a discrete object (or its emission from a particular point in
> space), might resonance afford more delocalized, contextual,
> intensification of hearing and proprioception?
> 2) Eldritch Priest: Through tropes such as the often cited “the ears are
> never closed,” artists and theorists alike routinely posit audition as form
> of “exposure,” a veritable faculty that lays us open and vulnerable to the
> world. But as Steven Connor notes, the ear is not submissive; it "actively
> connives to make what it takes to be sense out of what it hears.” This
> means that the ear not only refuses to entertain an outside -- “noise” --
> but its operations seem to entail "a kind of deterrence of sound” such that
> to hear is always to mishear. But if all hearing is mishearing, audition
> can only be a fundamental hallucination that works for the powers of the
> false. From this premise we might ask whether hearing is (in both its
> ordinary and Peircean sense of the term) an abduction of the “outside.”
> What would it mean or do, then, for sound studies—specifically sound
> studies in its humanistic phase -- that its organ of concern (l’oreille) is
> steeped primarily in “guesswork”? Does studying sound mean studying what is
> effectively a connivance? And if so, if audition is always making sense up,
> then with what, or as Neitzsche would say, with “whom” is it complicit?
> 3) Salomé Voegelin: What is the relationship between listening and sound
> art?
> Jennifer, Eldritch and Salomé, please feel free to further elaborate or
> extend your initial thoughts!
> Best,
> Jim
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