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Mechanisms of Listening and Spatial Mental Imagery

Luca Forcucci- Switzerland –

Abstract Listening requires attention, engagement toward an environment, and relies on subjectivity and (self) consciousness. The paper explores mechanisms of listening in the sonic arts through an ongoing research based on art process informed by cognitive science. The project focuses in particular on the American composer Pauline Oliveros’ concept of deep listening (Oliveros 2005). She proposes an expansion to all what is humanly possible to listen to. It leads to the phenomenal world that lies inside the auditory cortex about one’s personal space perception. To engage toward an environment as a sonic architecture and as a perceived atmosphere, necessarily involves the body. Sound and space are linked to vibration, and resonating energy within the body may result in mental imagery of space. The vibrational aspect of sound through experience provides new ways for spatial perception, as well as new paths in novel philosophy of sound and auditory perception. That is, the paper investigates felds of possibility of sonic meaning and experience in mind in relation to the world. Collaboration with cognitive science includes the investigation of body perception in relation to a spatial ecology.

Keywords Listening, Perception, Space, Sound, Art, Science, Mental Imagery