work in progress towards a 3-channel 4K video installation (forthcoming 2020)
What Listening Knows will be presented as a substantial audio and video installation for an eight-week solo exhibition at Messums Wiltshire, UK.
This highly-detailed work will be developed with unique sonic and visual experimentation, for two or three video screens and 24 audio channels across the cavernous main space at Messums Wiltshire.
The project is the development of research and filming undertaken in Wiltshire in mid-2019, when Sonia Leber and David Chesworth were Messums Wiltshire’s first artists-in-residence.
What Listening Knows creatively interrogates different concepts around the act of listening, particularly the concept of ‘the microphone’s gaze’, which shifts the idea of the ocular gaze, or camera gaze, into an acoustic dimension.
‘The microphone is a finger pointing at an object so as to make it heard…whoever holds the microphone receives the sound intimately and internally, already freighted with intention and purpose’. - Brunhild Ferrari
The project is built up around three individual performers acting as ‘field recordists’ in the landscape, trailing through cornfields, traversing unfathomable henges and earthworks, and scanning anthills and ancient forests. Each performer, armed with microphones and headphones, was prompted to physically interrogate the landscape from non-typical perspectives, activating their listening to find new ways to capture the acoustic forces of the environment.
Following these acoustic cues, we have been developing a camera style detached from its ocular-centric perspective, imbued with an acoustic consciousness, at times tipping and rotating the landscape, levitating rocky masses, and trailing growths in the forest from both macro and micro perspectives.
We aim to experiment with how humans reframe and manipulate their experience of the world, causing different translations of the world around us. Key in this, is how the act of listening informs us differently to visual perception.