driftwood

the eye and the ear

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With our eyes we see the world in perspective and as such we look only at a fragment of the world surrounding us. Our vision is selective, since we have to look in the direction of that, we wish to see. Also, vision places us in the periphery of our world. From here we look into our environment finding ourselves at a distance from what we see. This distance is a necessary one, since we cannot see or survey things that are too close. On the contrary, our ears situate us in the middle of our environment. The sounding space is anthropocentric (regarding humankind as the central of existence) in nature. Literally speaking, we cannot close our ear the way we can close our eye. Therefore sound, as a consequence of our spherical hearing, informs us about actions and sounding phenomena taking place outside of our visual perspective. In other words, sound enhances the visual space and the form of our ears and the distance between them, enables us to position the sounding object quite precisely in that space. Furthermore the eye cannot see through objects. Since we do not have an x-ray vision, the eye only reaches the surface of things. Sound on the other hand can be heard through solid objects like a wall and it runs around corners due to the way sound waves diffuse. Consequently we are able to hear what is happening behind a closed door. As formulated by Victor Zuckerkandl “the eye discloses space to me in that it excludes me form it” while the ear “disclose space in that it lets me participate in it” [1, p. 291] Also, we participate in space in that the sound moves us. Not just in the psychological sense but also in the physical sense. Sound grasps the body and shakes it (so to speak). In short sound immerses the listener into the world. It makes the environment come alive.

The Aesthetic Experience of Sound, Breinbjerg, Morten
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Written by mudskipper01

October 9, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Posted in butter, oven

Tagged with , , ,

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