The Corporeality of Listening
A historical & systematic critique of modern concepts of listening
Recent research on practices of hearing, listening and sounding, on „concepts of listening“ (Voegelin 2010) and on „sound practices“ (Altmann 1992) reveal the historicity and culturality of these practices.
This presentation undertakes a historical and systematic critique of essential approaches to listening in the arts (e.g. Adorno 1939, Schaeffer 1957, Smalley 1985, Truax 1985, Chion 1990, Stockfelt 1993, Huron 2002), in the natural sciences (e.g. Helmholtz 1863, Fletcher 1929, Beranek 1954, Reynolds 1981, Deutsch 1982/1999, Bregman 1990, Levitin 2006) and in cultural history (e.g. Attali 1977, Johnson 1995, Kassabian 2001, Sterne 2003, Erlmann 2004, Thompson 2004, Bull 2007, Erlmann 2010): the historical and cultural limitations in some of these approaches as well as the recurring normative and moralising agenda behind them demands the development of a historicizing, transcultural and sociological complex approach to listening.
Especially the analysis of deviant „sound concepts“ (Wicke 2008) and sound practices in Western cultures (e.g. in counter cultural sound art and sound performances since the 1960s as well as in the ongoing cultural practice of clubculture since the 1990s) could result in a vast multiplication of highly differing yet equally relevant concepts of listening; two theoretical concepts that are wider discussed in neighbouring research fields might provide then a framework for a culturally more reflected, historically relative and sociologically diversified discourse on listening: (a) the concept of „dispositive“ (Baudry 1970, Foucault 1977, Agamben 2006, Großmann 2008) and (b) the concept of „corpus“ (Nancy 1999).
Radialsystem V Berlin