Towards an ethics of listening
This audio paper reflects on and refracts the research process of sonically and sensorially engaging with public monuments and postcolonial sensibilities in the urban space.
The auditory research methods from which this audio paper is created include embodied and situated listening as well as the recording and production of mediated sonic narratives. In the first part of the audio paper, snippets of an audio walk for the public monument I Am Queen Mary are presented, and the qualities and limitations of this format are reflected. As will be argued in the second part of the audio paper, the limitations that were encountered in the research process became the vantage point for a more radical sonic editing of field recordings that served to sonically rethink what it means to listen in a particular place. An auditory research practice is developed in which the encountered sonic regimes and affective relationships are amplified and become integral to the sonic narrative of the audio paper. As the author demonstrates, the process of amplifying and editing recorded sounds become a way of remembering past listening experiences that are rematerialized in a different form through sampling and sonic manipulation. Listening as a method, incorporating techniques of sound recording and editing, evokes a different way of acquiring knowledge, of unlearning how one is supposed to hear within our entangled postcolonial histories and to sonically think towards possible futures.