Sunday 9 February 2014

Listening: A Tension, An Intention and an Attention

Lucia Farinati and Richard Crow

In mapping out different meanings on the notion of “listening” and playing a series of audio fragments including inaugural speeches, rants, nonsense, disembodied voices, and ‘silence’ -  this session aims to bring into earshot the act of listening in itself: a tension, an intention and an attention.

The main questions that we would like to raise and discuss are:
How is listening related to a collective becoming and/or group formations? And what is the space we are creating through the “living voice”? And what is its political dimension?

A possible departure point (as a kind of provocation) will be Jean-Luc Nancy’s conclusion that:
“The subject of the listening or the subject who is listening (but also the one who is “ subject to listening” in the sense that one can be “subject to” unease, an ailment, or a crisis) is not a phenomenological subject. This means that he is not a philosophical subject, and, finally, he is perhaps no subject at all, except as the place of resonance, of its infinite tension and rebound, the amplitude of sonorous deployment and the slightness of its simultaneous redeployment-by which a voice is modulated in which the singular of a cry, a call, or a song vibrates by retreating from it (a “voice”: we have to understand what sounds from a human throat without being language, which emerges from an animal gullet or from any kind of instrument, even from the wind in the branches: the rustling toward which we strain or lend an ear).” Jean-Luc Nancy, Listening, 2007. New York: Fordham University Press, pgs 21-22

Lucia Farinati (Italy/UK) is an independent curator and researcher based in London. She studied on the Curatorial Programme at Goldsmiths College (2004), London, Public Art and European Cultural Planning at De Montfort University, Leicester (2000) and History of Art and Aesthetics at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Trento (Italy) (1997). Her practice is informed by an interdisciplinary approach to working and collaborating with artists and by a production-oriented mode to framing contemporary art and curatorial practices. Her research is focused on the relationship between contemporary art and the public sphere, and listening at the intersection between sonic art and activism.

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