- Listening ArtMaking Sonic Artworks That Critique Listening
Sonic artists and listeners to sonic artworks tend to take for granted that how a listener listens to a sonic artwork affects what that listener perceives that sonic artwork to be, through the listener’s inclusion, exclusion and interpretation of the sonic events that constitute a given artwork. This tendency leaves the act of perception largely un-theorized in the production of sonic artworks and unquestioned in their reception by listeners.
This project seeks to address this problem by making sonic artworks that take criticality of listening as their primary focus, on the part of both artists and listeners. Its aim is to explore structuring sonic artworks around critical discourses on listening and for those artworks to foster critical reflection on listening by their listeners, hinging on the question, “How can sonic artworks be made that form critiques of listening?”
Based on an integration of schema theory and immanent critique, the author devises a rationale for making sonic artworks structured as discourses on listening and applies it to the creation of a series of works. This creative method is complemented with an original adaptation of the Heuristic Research method, which is used to determine whether the artworks do indeed foster critical reflection on listening in audience experience, through the collection and appraisal of a group of listeners’ descriptions of their experiences of the works.
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