Unreal Nature

February 24, 2019

To Occupy Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:50 am

… Sound has power.

This is from ‘Ears Have Walls: On Hearing Art’ by Steven Connor (2005):

… When you are in a bath, or even in a sauna, you feel yourself at once inside your skin and taken beyond it. One seems to expand outwards from one’s core to one’s skin. But this movement does not confine one in one’s skin but releases one to continue to expand into the element in which one is immersed.

[line break added] Didier Anzieu finds an analogue for this immersion in what he calls the ‘sonorous envelope,’ or bath of sounds, to which all of us are subject, first of all as foetus, in which sound and tactile sensation are powerfully intermingled, and then the experiences of the young child, in which the sensation of being held and embraced continues to cooperate with the lulling and lalling, all the gentle hubbub, with which the child is surrounded. We can say therefore that the experience of immersion in sound is a strange hybrid that does not yield easily to the language of space.

… If vision always puts creatures physically constituted as we are in front of the world, then sound, as Walter Ong has put it, puts us in the midst of things. Sound puts us in the world from which vision requires us, however minimally, to withdraw. Even this is a simplification, for, in order for a sound to be audible, it is always necessary for it to be in us just as much as we are in it. We inhabit sound, because it happens to us..

… But sound is not all pleasurable permeation or erotic meeting of membranes. Sound, as Aristotle puts it, is the result of a pathos. All sound is an attempt to occupy space, to make oneself heard at the cost of others. Sound has power.

-Julie

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