Ep2: Hearing and Listening: The Ear and the Brain
Episode 2 expands upon our understanding of sound and outlines a concise cultural history of hearing and listening.
Human understanding of the physiology and mechanisms of audition have varied over time and between cultures. Associated with these variable framings of the sensorium are issues around the relative prioritisation of sensory knowledge and processes of socialisation structuring the “proper” means of knowing and being in the world.
Following an anarcheaological method inspired by Sigfried Zielinski’s “deep time” as introduced in Episode 1, we will be comparing and contrasting contemporary knowledges of the ear, as derived from computational and clinical paradigms, with earlier conceptions and representations.
We will be moving swiftly through classical Indian, Chinese and Greaeco-Roman natural philosophies, moving into the medieval and Early Modern period before touching upon the Renaissance prioritisation of reason over sensory modalities.
Subsequently, the modernist paradigm will be articulated via examples of Georg von Bekesy’s extraordinary laboratory experiments into hearing which occurred in the first half of the twentieth century.
We will conclude this episode with a short reflection upon the current moment and the effect of telematics, and digital culture upon our contemporary conceptions of the organ of audition.
Keywords: Zielinski, Deep time of the Media, Karen Barad, history of the senses , Classical Indian , Traditional Chinese thought, Middle Ages, reason, faith, Georg von Bekesy 1924-46, The Ear and How it Works (Cook 1999), Maryanne Amacher, otoacoustic emissions
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