Forum Artistic Research

Piece + Talk

Braced Under the Heating Sun: Embodied Listening Practices

Melissa Anne Ryke

on  Fri, 16:15in  Neuer Saalfor  30min

How can embodied listening be performed, from my ears (body) to yours? How are we (dis)oriented? ‘Braced under the heating sun’ is centred around listening to and documenting my childhood home and its aural particularities through processes of embodied listening. The project is based on my recordings and experiences there between February and March 2020 (bookended by the waning Australian black summer bush fires and the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic). The house is made from wood and so bends with the weather. The wooden structure amplifies the sounds of our habitation. The house is located on the edge of a small town and next to a sugar cane farm in North Queensland. Although in a tropical climate it has no fly screens, and air-conditioning in only one room. The windows are open all of the time to let a breeze through. Most evenings you can find green tree frogs, geckos and insects amongst other animals in or around the house. In this way nature (a wild exterior) pushes against and blurs into the home (an organised interior). It is never silent there, the sounds are a mix of all forces; human/animal, natural/industrial. For me, it resonates as a site that is connected to the world despite its rural location. In this house the “rhythms and cycles of the living and the immediate needs of every living being are highlighted and played out. It is where intensities proliferate themselves, where forces are expressed for their own sake, where sensation lives and experiments, where the future is affectively and perceptually anticipated” (Elizabeth Grosz 2008). For this talk. I discuss this installation work and my continued research on embodied listening (which I am undertaking as part of being a PhD candidate at the ZHdK in partnership with the Kunstuniversität Linz). I am interested in exploring embodied listening as an open-ended methodology to create transdisciplinary artworks as well as establishing a forum of discussion around this topic.

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