Guest talk – John Drever

The third colloquium sessions this semester will be on Thursday, the 29th of September. We will meet at 5:00pm on the 6/F in the Future Cinema Studio (M6094). We will have speaker Prof. John Levack Drever presents an emerging agenda of auraldiversity within sound art with the topic “Sound Art – Whose Hearing?”.

Date: 2016-09-29 (Thursday)
Time: 5:00pm
Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, 6/F, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong


John Drever poster.jpg

Sound Art – Whose Hearing?

For those of us who practice sound art, we have a tendency to extol an incredibly wide range of uniquely positive attributes to listening. It enables us to: connect, communicate, relate, localise, embody, discern, transcend, immerse. Through listening our lives and our relation to our surrounding environments is enriched and intensified. Thus as sound artists our unspoken primary motive is to actively devise and explore opportunities for sonic epiphanies. In the entrancing words of Pauline Oliveros, we “strive for a heightened consciousness of the world of sound and the sound of the world” (Deep Listening 2016). And to help harness and maximise this potential, thanks to Augoyard & Torgue, Chion, Ihde, Kassabian, Norman, Ronell, Schaeffer, Schafer, Smalley Truax, et al. have all given name to an ever more nuanced compartmentalisation of kinds of listening. Shifting the prevailing discourse from listening onto our actual auditory apparatus of our sense of hearing, from the findings of my recent research, in particular my review on the noise impact of high-speed hand dryers (Drever 2013), I am obliged to propose that the contrary is a reality for many. Hearing: perturbs, isolates, excludes, disconnects, disembodies, dislocates. Hearing hurts! This is the chronic predicament for those living with tinnitus, hyperacusis, misophonia and phonophobia, and also for those with particular hearing needs such as the partially sighted, hearing aid users or those with sensitive hearing such as children and ASD. Bringing acoustics and audiology into play, in this talk I will propose a new paradigm for situating hearing in sound art that extends from an idealized, clinical model of hearing, the otologically normal (BS ISO 226:2003), to a socio-cultural concept of the auraltypical. Asking us to question, whose listening we are in fact dealing with? In conclusion, with reference to my own sound art work, including a multi-speaker installation recently presented in a toilet in Aarhus, Denmark, I will present an emerging agenda of auraldiversity within sound art.


About the Speaker:
Operating at the intersection of acoustics, sound art, soundscape studies, and experimental music, Drever’s practice represents an ongoing inquiry into the affect, perception, design and practice of everyday environmental sound and human utterance. He has a special interest in soundscape methods, in particular field recording and soundwalking. Drever is Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he leads the Unit for Sound Practice Research and is Deputy Dean of the Graduate School.

He is an avid collaborator and has devised work in many different configurations and contexts internationally. Commissions range from the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, Paris (1999), Arts Council England (2002, 2007, 2013), WDR Studio Akustische Kunst (2011).

An elected director of Sonic Arts Network since 2004, Drever became its final chair in 2008. He was a co-founder (1998) and chair of the UK and Ireland Soundscape Community (a regional affiliate of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology) for whom he chaired Sound Practice: the 1st UKISC Conference on sound, culture and environments in 2001 at Dartington and Sound Practice 2006 at Goldsmiths.

He is an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism, a Member of the Institute of Acoustics, a Guest Professor, The Department of Digital Design and Information Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark and a Visiting Research Fellow at Seian University of Art and Design, Japan. In 2007 he was a Visiting Scholar, at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.

To find out more about our speaker, you can check out his page here.


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