Listening to aesthetic labor in The Sound of Silence (2019)

11:30, Thursday 6 May 2021 (30 minutes)
Jayanthan Sriram, Concordia University, Canada

I aim to learn from the utopian idea of urban patterns of sound and the protagonist of the film “The Sound of Silence”, to glean something from thinking about aurality. The idea of controlling our sonic environment and suffering from the dissonances within points towards a deeper understanding of sounds and silences that provide the immersion in our life world. We do think about the right look for an apartment, but rarely would we turn our attention on the static clicks and hums they generate or go so far as to attribute our well-being to the aural atmospheres they create. Different avenues open and shifts happen within our sensorium and the agendas or hierarchies that constitute our sense of self and the awareness of our surroundings. While the idea of a person appearing at your doorstep to tune your house seems far-fetched, we live within the belief systems of visual design and various wellness apparatuses, Feng-Shui, tiding your life or creating positive environments and selves. Design is still growing to envelop not just our sight, but the other senses as well. Wealth, capital and consumption collide within the silent harmonies of our lives, the idea of making and selling an experience mark a tension of sensory design. To speak within the distinction of “products” and “tools” of the protagonist: Are our senses just different avenues for marketing “products” or cultured “tools” for research and building awareness of the greater patterns in life?

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