Sonic Acts of Noticing:
Listening to the High Street

Take a moment to make space for listening. Find somewhere comfortable to sit and use headphones if possible.

As you listen, texts will appear on the screen. Allow listening to guide your interactions with them (moving, closing, opening them as desired).

You can save 'artefacts' to your library by clicking the plus symbol. These selections will map out your unique listening journey in space and time.

Settle comfortably, notice your breath and your contact with the chair.

  • 5.Listening with Urban Assemblages: Floating –> Radialsystem
001A

If I were to capture some urban water in a glass, retrace the networks that brought it there and follow Ariadne’s thread through the water, ‘I would pass with continuity from the local to the global, from the human to the nonhuman’. These flows would narrate many interrelated tales: of social and political actors and the powerful socio-ecological processes that produce urban and regional spaces; of participation and exclusion; of rats and bankers; of water-borne disease and speculation in water industry related futures and options; of chemical, physical, and biological reactions and transformations; of the global hydrological cycle and global warming; of uneven geographical development; of the political lobbying and investment strategies of dam builders; of urban land developers; of the knowledge of engineers; of the passage from river to urban reservoir. In sum, my glass of water embodies multiple tales of the ‘city as a hybrid’.

002A

Water is a ‘hybrid’ thing that captures and embodies processes that are simultaneously material, discursive, and symbolic.

003A

My name is Kyle Alvarado. I am a lifelong El Paso, Texas, resident, and I create an aromatic liquid of the creosote bush that recreates the scent of desert rain. When it’s about to rain in El Paso, you know the moisture will sort of wick up in the air, and the resin in the leaves begins to activate, and it starts to waft through the area. And it’s a great sort of preview of the coming rain. And then, of course, the rain comes, and it washes everything clean, and everything slows down a little bit. And that creosote smell is still there. And once the rain stops and the waters begin to recede and things begin to dry up, that creosote smell just as gently as it came in begins to sort of fade out.

004A

Even while in constant motion, water is also a planetary archive of meaning and matter. To drink a glass of water is to ingest the ghosts of bodies that haunt that water. When “nature calls” some time later, we return to the cistern and the sea not only our antidepressants, our chemical estrogens, or our more commonplace excretions, but also the meanings that permeate those materialities: disposable culture, medicalized problem-solving, ecological disconnect. Just as the deep oceans harbor particulate records of former geological eras, water retains our more anthropomorphic secrets, even when we would rather forget. Our distant and more immediate pasts are returned to us in both trickles and floods.

005A

Moreover, here in this forest, we hear a variety of sounds ... so many... mere sounds. That’s all they are; they should not cause fear to anyone. We hear the rumbling of clouds, the whistling of wind in the reeds, we hear sounds of lutes and drums, big and small, sounds of conches and bells, of wagons and doors, creaking, sounds of axes and saws and similar implements—all kinds of sounds are heard here. One should not be afraid of them.

006A

If survival always involves others, it is also necessarily subject to the indeterminacy of self-and-other transformations. We change through collaborations both within and across species. The important stuff for life on earth happens in those transformations, not in the decision-trees of self-contained individuals. Rather than seeing only the expansion-and-conquest strategies of relentless individuals, we must look for histories that develop through contamination.

007A

The way that my body feels in water makes me kind of forget that I have a body. It’s kind of like being a kid that, like, covers their eyes and says, “You can’t see me!” Like you can see them, but to them, they’ve disappeared. There’s this thing where even if people can see me, I don’t care. I lose the sense of self-consciousness and the sense of self-awareness almost and just kind of become part of the water. Because I’d always kind of felt different around my gender. Water was kind of a refuge for me. When I’m in water, I feel incredibly graceful. I feel weightless. I feel competent in my body. Except, it’s not even like a feeling of competence while I’m doing it. It’s just a feeling of being.

008A

[…] sound and listening are situated as the basis for capacities by which to nurture an insurrectionary sensibility – a potential found in the quiver of the eardrum, the strains of a voice, the vibrations and echoes that spirit new formations of social solidarity – and that may support an engagement with the complexities of contemporary life.

009A

Unlikely publics hover unsteadily and ambiguously in the open, shaping themselves within quotidian spaces and locations often between communities, languages, and even nation-states, to form volatile coalition frameworks; that draw from resources found in collective intelligence, shared skills, popular traditions, and from the energetic knowing of the senses; that build through poor and gleaned materials a space for each other; a collective shelter, pulling into collaboration a diversity of people, friends, family; and that continually shift between different agentive positions, making do through an art of survival, trespass, and tactical pleasure—unlikely publics embody the speculative and dynamic force of the anarchic (non-)citizenry today.

010A

To be comfortable is to be so at ease with one’s environment that it is hard to distinguish where one’s body ends and the world begins. One fits and by fitting, the surfaces of bodies disappear from view. The disappearance of the surface is instructive: in feelings of comfort, bodies extend into spaces, and spaces extend into bodies. The sinking feeling involves a seamless space, or a space where you can’t see the stitches between bodies

011A

When I first learned polyphony, it was a revelation in listening; I was forced to pick out separate, simultaneous melodies and to listen for the moments of harmony and dissonance they created together. This kind of noticing is just what is needed to appreciate the multiple temporal rhythms and trajectories of the assemblage.

012A

I swim in white-tiled pools with straight black lines; in water where you can see the other side—where there is another side. The walls don’t move; they define and contain my chlorinated monotony. In a messy, unpredictable world, this wet room is soothing. I count, measure, repeat. There are no sharks, no jellyfish, no rip currents.

I’m afraid of the ocean. And maybe I swim the way architects tend to think—in a language of measured perimeters, predefined routes, delimited territories. Again and again, I approach the wall and turn, pushing off from the reliable edge.

013A

We are interested in how listening can be a tool, or a strategy that makes things happen or leads to (political) action. How can listening be understood as a practice that might activate a space and a time which is not purely theoretical, experiential or perceptual, but intrinsically social and political for the reason that it sustains an “other-doing”?

014A

What if the social, economic, and political contradictions spawned in the modern city were to be flipped? What if plants and non-human animals were understood as city dwellers and spatial producers, giving us the opportunity to understand and design living spaces for a wide range of users beyond pure exploitation, speculation, and utilitarianism? Could the complex structure of the city as an inter-species space open up new modes of subjectivation, kinship, and solidarity? Could it produce and promote a concept of politics and subjectivity beyond neoliberal individualism?

015A

For listening also draws us toward states of critical reflection, slowness, shared attunement, and capacities for understanding or care, all of which articulate other dimensions of power.

016A

What if we loosened the tie between participation and human language use, encountering the world as a swarm of vibrant materials entering and leaving agentic assemblages? We might then entertain a set of crazy and not so crazy questions.

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017A

Every order is the temporary and precarious articulation of contingent practices. The frontier between the social and the political is essentially unstable and requires constant displacements and renegotiations between social agents. Things could always be otherwise and therefore every order is predicated on the exclusion of other possibilities. It is in that sense that it can be called ‘political’ since it is the expression of a particular structure of power relations. Power is constitutive of the social because the social could not exist without the power relations through which it is given shape. What is at a given moment considered as the ‘natural’ order - jointly with the ‘common sense’ which accompanies it - is the result of sedimented hegemonic practices; it is never the manifestation of a deeper objectivity exterior to the practices that bring it into being.

018A

Neo-Darwinism is dead. The paradigm that has long dictated the terms of accommodation between the sciences of life, mind, society and culture has been brought down by the weight of its own internal contradictions, by the manifest circularity of its explanations, and by the steadfast refusal of human and other organisms to conform to the straitjacket that its architects had created for them. This is not to deny that it continues to enjoy massive public, political and financial support. Its leading protagonists are among the biggest names in science. In a market-driven environment, they have become celebrities and their doctrines have becomebrands. They have run a propaganda machine that has been adroit in playing to popular stereotypes and ruthless in the suppression of dissenting voices, variously dismissed as ill-informed, politically motivated or temperamentally hostile to science. Some adherents of the neo-Darwinian creed have feigned puzzlement as to why so many scholars in the social sciences and the humanities refuse to sign up to it. This has been attributed, variously, to disciplinary myopia, sheer prejudice, or the allure of such fads and fashions as post-modernism, relativism and social constructionism (Perry and Mace 2010). The one possibility that adherents cannot countenance, however, is that their critics many of whom are more widely read in the histories and philosophies of science and society than they are, and have thought long and hard about the conditions and possibilities of knowing and being in the one world we all inhabit might have good reasons to find the paradigm wanting. To admit as much would, after all, be to question the very foundations of their own belief.

001B

Swimming or swooping

002B

aggressive water

003B

Water pool girls swimming bathroom kids being bathed

004B

Breathe

005B

Ahahahahahaa

006B

sbahn

007B

Tunnel?

008B

Chloride smells

009B

Skin

010B

Squelch

011B

Vesterhavet

012B

Muddy weather

013B

clothes or dishes washing

014B

Station trains

015B

stars

016B

Lost

017B

Pfützen

018B

Blowing bubbles in a park?

019B

food poisoning

020B

water rinse

021B

Regenwasser

022B

Two types of water

023B

Feel like i need to go to toilet

024B

Abwasserkanal

025B

Kanalisation

026B

A tiny dog chasing the bubbles

027B

sandy wind

028B

guests in the apartment

029B

The bubbles sound tiny

030B

Baby

031B

Dry laughter

032B

a zipper

033B

Afraid

034B

Stones being thrown into water

035B

I love these textures

036B

Nervous

037B

Lighting

038B

before the storm

039B

engine

040B

Huge machine

041B

tough air

042B

So so much

043B

Watery machine

044B

Static

045B

Seagull

046B

Having a bath in public

047B

Cold

048B

Shaking

049B

The shoreline

050B

Uncomfortable

051B

calm down

052B

Maybe this is something to think about

053B

tractor

054B

Fried eggs

055B

Clipping

056B

Sunny

057B

Walk in the park

058B

again, the rainforest

059B

tropical

060B

Birds

061B

Ambulanz

062B

Friends

063B

Outdoors

064B

Warped ans distorted

065B

Day

066B

Moving day

067B

Sun

068B

Görlitzer park

069B

Morning after a night out

070B

Stairs

071B

fauchen

072B

Diesel

073B

Truckkk

074B

Strong arms

075B

People walking next to the autobahn

076B

Helicopter fan epic movie?

077B

Busy city

078B

How do they get there?

079B

indiana jones

080B

cowboy walking

081B

Satisfied

082B

Autumn leaves

083B

Little woods

084B

Gentle steps

085B

Resonance

086B

Industrial

087B

something big is coming

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088B

Oil drums… back to "under the sea"

089B

Horror movie

090B

chirp chirp

091B

directiooooons

092B

ice

093B

texting; yeah I hear this; sand paper; dry leaves; mortar and pestle; uncomfortable; bicycle; wheels; chains; fruit machines; orange juice; paper; paralelepípedo

094B

Shhh; Mmmmmm; Yeeees

095B

Tidal wave of doom; hungeeer; Needy children; moritzplatz; Arrastando os pés

096B

It’s autumn definitely; depth; sbahn; waiting

097B

Whooshing and crunching always and forever
The city is constantly breaking down

gun loading

bottle

following footsteps

098B

following footsteps; human hands; no much talking

099B

kids or ducks?

100B

End of the working day

101B

steps and steps and steps, Move move move, Beep beep beep

102B

Bye