As part of Enhanced Practice at International Center for Knowledge in the Arts (Copenhagen, DK), I carried out a short practice-based artistic research project which explored listening and being heard. In and around the House of Ears (pictured above), I organised participatory activities to critically investigate different understandings of listening, its uses, misuses and potentialities in relation to social change in the face of contemporary challenges. In my text To Hear and Being Heard (published by International Center for Knowledge in the Arts in June 2022) I outline the outcomes of this project.
“For this work, I organized and facilitated participatory activities in order to collectively question our listening: how we listen, what we listen for, how it feels to be listened to, and what it feels like to be heard. Together, we staged conversations and worked through other forms of doing things with sound: making unintentional sounds with sound-making objects and with our eyes closed; making private sounds that were only for oneself to hear, “sharing the stage” through collective improvisations and making music that was focused less on the sounds than on the pauses and on anticipation. Additionally, we experimented with listening through touch. Most of the activities took place inside and around the House of Ears: a small makeshift space within a larger room made from walls of thin and soft fabrics that moved in the faint push of air produced whenever a body was moving alongside it. I had created this space to invite and host the participants and our listening. In particular, reflecting on these collective sonic practices, we discussed the notion of being heard to describe the sensation of being acknowledged, and what kind of listening that being heard asks for. As we tried to describe to each other the elements of being heard, it became apparent that this sensation is hard to explain in words but very recognisable as a feeling.” – excerpt from the text To Hear and Being Heard.