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24th May, 2021

ResearchWorks: “But what do we say to the birds?”

GuildhallSchool Red

Event Details

24th May, 2021
18:00 -

Dr Bennett Hogg (Newcastle University)

The starting point for this talk comes from Timothy Morton’s argument that representation can distance us from understanding ourselves as part of “the environment”, which is one element that compounds the ongoing environmental emergency. His premise that representation (in literature, for example), aestheticisation, and objectification are part of a cultural constellation working against “ecosystemic” (i.e. inclusive and dynamic) artistic practices is a viable worldview.

But, contra-Morton, aestheticisation can also be an embodied practice, and we know that many aspects of how we listen are learned not from passive perception but from sounding, from participation through exploring and producing sound from our bodies, objects in the world, and our immediate environment (acoustics, soundscapes). Mimesis can, on the one hand, be controlling – the colonisation of the more-than-human other – but can also be a route towards empathy, and a decentering of the human subject.

In this seminar Dr Bennett Hogg argues that musicians and sound artists whose processes involve sonic participation in the environment, making works that actively involve/include sounding-in and accommodating-to the whole range of sonic environments, afford an opportunity to interrogate how we think about, experience, and care for the more-than-human world we live on.

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