11 minutes 40 seconds
voice - Patrick Gibson
text and production - Ian Andrews
Sound in Space: Adventures
in Australian Audio Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 26 May -
22 August, 1995
auscultation. 1.Med. the act of
listening, either directly or through a stethoscope, or other instrument,
to sounds within the body, as a method of diagnosis, etc.2. the act of
listening. From the latin auscultatio, a listening.
This piece recalls a particular object: the cardiophonic training record
(or tape), used as an aid for the self-instruction of medical personel
in the diagnostic significance of various heart sounds.
Is it possible to conceive of such an object as "sound art"
or even as music? Such a shift in framing would entail a modification
in the mode of listening: from diagnostic, to what might be described
as aesthetic or emotional listening. Or rather, from an act involving
listening to indicies or signs, to a listening which, to some extent,
engages in unconscious processes. This would call for a listening which
Roland Barthes describes as "panic listening," (1) a listening
which continuosly produces new signifiers without ever arresting their
This piece attempts to accomodate such a shift by running together scientific
language and literary or poetic associations, combined with the utilization
of the dominant Western cultural metonymy and metaphorics associated with
this very essential organ.
1. Roland Barthes, The Responsibility of Forms, New York: 1985,
Sound in Space: Audiotheque,
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 22/5/1995 - 22/8/1995