Listening and ReProducing “Äußere Mariahilferstrasse” via Soundwalk and Research: A special focus of this project is to put on the investigation of the auditive space of “Äußere Mariahilferstrasse” (Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, 15th District of Vienna). The main question that we would like to discuss and answer here: how do strollers listen and produce, construct their auditory space?
Listening and Producing “Äußere Mariahilferstrasse” via Soundwalk and Research
While we are walking, all our senses are activated. We use the sense of hearing to experience a space, but also to orientate ourselves in it. “Listeners are like hunters following up ambiguous traces” Paul Carter writes (2004, p. 44). In his text “Ambiguous Traces, Mishearing, and Auditory Space” the author aims at drawing out how an individuum approaches hearing and listening in different ways. He defines hearing as detached registration of external phenomena and listening as intentional act of looking after traces of significance. The aim of a listener is not to finish a communication, but to enter a dialogue with his communication partner or his environment (2004, p. 43f.).
A special focus of this project is to put on the investigation of the auditive space of “Äußere Mariahilferstrasse” (Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, 15th District of Vienna). The main question that we would like to discuss and answer here: how do strollers listen and produce, construct their auditory space?
As an introduction, we will shortly present and speak about the visions of auditory spaces and ask questions about relations being produced within them: Which visions of auditive spaces are being promoted and why? What kind of issues and whose voices are being silenced in the process and how are these discourses competing with, altering and being altered by other alternative discourses? How these complex linkages can be built between urban discourses, political economic aims and strategies as well as the approaches to the sensual and bodily experiences of the urban auditive spaces?
After the discussion together with our participants, we plan to carry out a field research at the acoustic situation of “Äußere Mariahilferstrasse”. For this purpose, we will prepare methodological tools, such as listening questionnaires, activities for the group discussion as well as examples, case studies from sound artistic practices.
Our methodological tools will refer on concepts of urban soundscapes, discussed for example by Jean Francois Augoyard (sound effect, sonic experience of everyday sounds, urban and architectural ambiances), Sam Auringer (“auditory lebensraum”), Marc Auge (“foreground, centreground and background sound” of cities) or Andres Bosshard (carthography of sounds with a particular interest in soundwalks).
Carter, Paul (2004): Ambiguous traces, mishearing, and auditory space. In: Erlmann, Veit (ed.): Hearing cultures: essays on sound, listening, and modernity. Berg: Oxford, pp. 43-64.