Sonic Acts of Noticing

Web Name: Sonic Acts of Noticing






Sonic Acts of Noticing

1.Foodhall (26:00)2.House of Press (14:00)3.Floating to Radialsystem (25:00)4.Langsett Landscape Lab (20:48 WIP)Library

If [...] we listen to the city at macro scale, as an ecology of diverse lifeforms and resources and habitats, we might recognize a dynamic, vital system to be stewarded for future generations of humans and other species.” [1]

Sonic Acts of Noticing deploys listening as critical spatial practice. We are interested in how such practice might alter subjectivities and produce space in ways that emphasise care and shared learning as crucial for collaborative survival.

Following the potential of the sonic ‘as a means for enabling new conceptualizations of the public sphere and expressions of emancipatory practices’ [2], we offer this tool for deep listening [3] as a way to re-make urban space by drawing attention to forms of collectivity, interdependence and mutual support, between humans and non-humans, often in the face of precarity.

Sound compositions comprised of field recordings from different ‘patches’ [4] are the basis for sonic exploration. We prototype an interactive audio-textual environment, where these sound compositions collide with textual artefacts that are temporally coded to the audio. Provocations, quotations, and critical and journalistic writing, augment, subvert, amplify and dissonate listening, in relation to your navigation of the site, opening new possibilities and configurations.

This environment is not intended to represent specific landscapes and urban spaces, but rather, through the associations, interruptions and collisions between text and listening awareness, transform them and make them anew. We see this process as a basis for developing constructive modes of listening that can be taken with you on your travels.

1. Shannon Mattern, ‘Urban Auscultation; or, Perceiving the Action of the Heart’, Places Journal, 28 April 2020.

2. Brandon LaBelle, Sonic Agency: Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance (London: Goldsmiths Press, 2018), 4.

3. Pauline Oliveros, Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice (New York: iUniverse, 2005).

4. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton University Press, 2015).

Julia Udall
Jonathan Orlek
Alex De Little

With thanks to the Department of Natural and Built Environment at Sheffield Hallam University for their generous support of this project. Many thanks to Research Assistants Milena Vasileva and Matthew Drummond.

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