Listen To Me...
Imagine my listening. And in imagining mine, perhaps you will imagine your own.
Listen To Me Remix invites you to listen. To imagine listening. And in imagining others people’s listening, to imagine your own. The film questions our perceptions of listening: how we imagine other peoples listening, how they give meaning to sound. This in turn might bring some understanding how we ourselves give meaning to the sounds we hear, how we imagine our own listening.
I think of this film as a remix of my ongoing research and installation Listen To Me.
Listen To Me wants to explore the listener’s role in the semantic triangle between sound, listening and the listener. The project is inspired by the eavesdropper- paintings of Nicolaes Maes, a Dutch master from the 17th century. In these paintings Maes shows somebody eavesdropping on a household, creating a unique viewpoint on 17th century life and values. Listen To Me wants to research the emotional act of listening, by focussing on the listener. It does so by filming people who are listening. The installation itself is a multiscreen video installation, each screen showing shots of people absorbed in listening. The sound the people in the video are listening is not heard in the installation, nor is it in the film. It’s only present in the facial expressions on the screens, and the minute and subtle (or not so subtle) changes in those expressions.
Every shot shows a close up landscape portrait of the listener, showing his or her face while he or she is listening to something. In each shot there’s also a tiny bit of background to give the spectator a feel of the context being listened to. The title Listen To Me refers to the fact that we never listen with our ears alone, but also with our own history, our own memories, and our other senses.
Listening is a mode of perception that goes beyond sound or hearing, so it’s perfectly possible to listen to something that has no sound in the sense of air pressure variations. Listening is personal, and this installation invites you to explore your own personal listening, by using the others’ listening as a mirror.
This film remix of the installation does this by talking to the spectator directly, as a one on one conversation between two listeners. Through the conversation, the film and spectator are trying to figure out what listening means to them, and what the relationship between sound, personal experience, space and identity is.
Listen To Me Remix (3-09) had its world premiere at the 39th FIFA, Festival International du Film sur l'Art, (Montréal, CA). It's now touring the film festival circuit. More festivals TBA
Thanks to Anrdrei, aRzu, Sam, Kevin and c o m (e) p u l s i v e
A special warm thank you to all the people who contributed their listening to the Listen To Me project.