Workshop: 'Silence, Signal, Noise: Learning to Listen in the Age of Passivity' by John Connell
September 22nd, 2017, 13:00 – 14:00 @ VUT Indie House, sanktpaulibar
A Listening Workshop:
In the 2010 book Program or Be Programmed, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff highlights the need for the individual to learn how to code. The ‘new literacy of the digital age’, coding enables ‘access to the control panel of civilisation’, without which the individual becomes a passive bystander in a society and culture shaped by a small privileged few.
This imbalance of control, and dis-heartening societal passivity in the face of systemic global crises, seems to only deepen over time. Yet as a theorist and composer working with sound, John Connell argues that learning to listen- cultivating our capacity to detect and respond to signals in our physical and digital spaces- is as important for shaping our future as any line of code. Both physical and psychological practice, listening as a discipline allows us to tune into a sensitivity rarely afforded in the bustle of our daily lives, and the stupefying noise of our socialised (and programmed) mediascapes.
Listening is a discipline that encourages receptivity, openness and a capacity for empathic response- a place from which our entire decision making process is refreshed, our expectations of interactions and experiences is reimagined, and a new lens for considering current challenges is made available.
This is an interactive talk and listening workshop that explores this concept. Working with a listening meditation, we will examine some key questions:
How do our media spaces and our technology serve us? How actively are we involved in designing the new spatial realities of an immersive technological future? As we enter a new phase in immersive technologies, will they help us tackle the issues we face more effectively, or will they reinforce the problems?
John Connell is a media strategist, composer and creative director of 4DSOUND, a collective exploring spatial sound as a medium. His sound and curatorial work explores questions of consciousness raised by meditative disciplines and philosophy of mind. A central focus of this is listening as a practice in itself: how our ability to listen opens up new levels of awareness about space, both the external and the internal. He has performed at experimental electronic music showcases such as TodaysArt, Berlin Atonal, 4DSOUND’s Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest and the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, with essays, talks and workshops at TEDxDanubia, CTM Berlin, State Festival and Creative Mornings amongst others.