introduction

Ongoing artistic research:  

                 “multi sensorial hearing perspective”

During presentations of tactile sonic sculptures and community sound projects I have talks and discussions  with people about how they experienced the installations by creating their own “multi sensorial hearing perspective”  and how this experience is related to their own hearing and listening in the daily soundscapes of the sound habitat in which they live and work.

I developed my idea’s on the multi modal aspects of hearing and started to call this the “multi sensorial hearing perspective” as part of an ongoing artistic research: collecting spoken and written reactions, talking with people about their “hearing perspective” in relation to listening, their listening habits, their sound images and sound memories.

Physical aspects of the hearing perspective

First it was concentrated on the material and physical aspects of the perspective (the relation: sound object / body / space). How could the public respond to and be responsible for their own way of experiencing the tactile sonic installations by: moving their bodies, using their hands, ears and skin, by changing the position of the sound object, by physically experimenting and challenging their ways of hearing abilities.

Bringing together idea’s about a more common expected visual perspective, while turning the body or closing the eyes, with a more layered omni surround hearing perspective when using the ears, being penetrated by the surrounding sounds and in the same time experiencing an “intimate” haptic and tactile awareness of hearing by touching, embracing, sitting near the sound objects, close to the body, feeling the resonating sounds through the hands, the feet, on the skin or and running through the whole body while standing in the “super sonic sound scape shoes”, becoming part of the sound object and multi sensory soundscape it self.

During presentations I also asked deaf, hearing disabled and blind, sight disabled people about their experiences and ways of hearing / sensing sounds. They all developed their own personal hearing perspective depending of age, the moment of becoming disabled and their personal habits of using and combining their senses.

Social and cultural aspects of the hearing perspective.

After a while my research also raised questions about the social and cultural aspects of the hearing perspective. It rendered a lot of personal and collective associations and questions about how we hear with multiple senses:

 Questions:

  From what hearing perspective do we start listening, what are our given hearing (dis)   abilities, even before we start listening?

–  How is the gesture of our body influencing the way we hear and listen, how is our way of moving and being in the space influenced by culture and how does this scape our hearing perspective?

Placing our ways of hearing and hearing abilities in a cultural, political, historical perspective.

–  And from what perspectives do others listening to what we hear? What is   their cultural hearing background, bodily sensitivity, gesture behavior, goals, taste or desire? What is making sense for them while hearing?

–  What comes first: the selective movement of our body towards the sounds we (want to) hear or the interpretation when we listen? The vibrations of the sound around us did already penetrate our body before we started to listen.

Maybe we did smell the question of the person coming to us and we answered with the gesture of our body already before we really listened to what the person was asking.

The resonating voice of the mother has coloured the emotional hearing of the child already before it learned to listen to her incorporated message even when the child was still growing in the womb of the mother.

How do we learn in a psychological, personal and cultural way, to combine all these information of our senses using strategies to integrate the information for increasing the reliability of what we (want to) understand of what we hear?

–  As we grow up we learn that we listen with our ears and we start “to forget” that we first heared with all our senses in a certain perspective?