Budhaditya Chattopadhyay

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay: Hyper- and Co-listening: Thoughts on Sound, Selfhood, Solidarity, and Solace

In this talk, I investigate how the mindful, subjective, and collaborative aspects of listening practices engages with the sonic environment in a two-step process of personal and collaborative, as termed “hyper-listening” and “co-listening” respectively, and helps focus on the contemplation and capacity for reciprocity of the listener in regards to his or her situational contexts and wellbeing. This approach generates an inclusive mode of engagement with lived environments, the community and co-habiting others by a production of context-aware subjectivity. Drawing on Jean-Luc Nancy’s work Listening (2017) and departing from Michel Chion’s listening modes described in his book Audio-Vision (1994), hyper-listening and co-listening operate as a set of individual and collective exercises and experiments in sonic medi(t)ation that intends to encourage listening to self and others without making immediate judgments by transcending ontological and epistemological constraints of sound. The idea revolves around listening as a mindful act to compassionately engage with the self and the environment, and bodies that inhabit it, namely humans, plants, animals, and other sentient beings. Challenging the Western modernist idea of listening as immediate meaning-making to navigate the everyday by arriving at deductive conclusions, I discuss in this talk how hyper-listening and co-listening together underscore emancipatory acts of listening towards generating an acoustic solidarity to provide solace, care and empathy in times of great turmoil and crises.