A survey is a process of listening

02–06 May 2012
Whitney Museum, New York

A Survey is a Process of Listening

Basis on which we have undertaken our survey...

 

1. Identify multiple different modes of listening as present in North American (artistic) practices. 

2. Collective, political, philosophical positions which are then embodied aesthetically, and with which we have sympathy should be given prominence.  I.e.: the criteria for selection should not in the first instance be aesthetic.

3. Identify a key informant within the community that practices that mode of listening: someone who can conceptualise, demonstrate and reflect upon that practice.

4. Work with that informant to present a durational, collective experience of that mode of listening (either with them or with others they introduce us to).

5. Try not to engage: instead, try to be involved with people in the durational experience of, and where appropriate reflection upon, different modes of listening.  The ways in which this is done and the demands on the audience should vary over the week:

a. From simply sharing a collective listening experience, to;

b. More in-depth reflection upon or codifying of responses to that experience.

6. Pay artists for their labor.  In addition to travel, accommodation and production costs; a day rate should be paid, calculated as follows:

a. US National Average [annual] Wage Indexing Series -  $41,673  

b. Work Days / Year - 252 

c. Day Rate = (a) / (b) = $165/ day

d. Pay for preparation and performance days.  (Due to limited budget, programme may need to incl. existing work that requires minimal preparation)

 

Index...     

                             

Some modes of listening present over the week include:

Allegorical - to embody an idea in/ of listening

Anarchism - to listen as a practice of liberty, (first individual and then social)

Blackout - to create a momentary gap, in which to listen: clear of consciousness and decision-making

Collective - to be together (listening)

Cosmic Pessimism - to hear the disharmony of the world

Cultural Memory - to hear the echo of history within ourselves

De-control - to hear an abandonment of order

Ekphrasis - to hear something described

Freedom - to ask: what is the sound of freedom?

Imaginary - to hear a sound, imagine its context and relate it to our own, or indeed to imagine a sound in a new context

Labor and Endurance - to hear the body, at work

Organized  - the practice of listening as a form of (political) organizing

Quotidian - to listen to the sonic figures of everyday life

Sociological - to listen through urbanism, popular cultures and histories

Spatial - to spend time and embody space, with sound

Speech Act - to address someone, (and to imagine how they hear you)

Spontaneity Vs. Determination - to listen at the border between lived (improvised) time and planned (composed) time

Textual - a catalogue of techniques for literary listening: Affinity, Dialect, Deposition, Ecouterism, Phatics….

Typical - to listen to typical characters in a typical situation