‘Radical Listening Sessions’ will be collective research and workshopping around several themes contained within Jenny Gräf Sheppard’s PhD ‘Communicating Vessels: re-defining agency through sounding’. Each theme will be explored through experiments with electronics, movement, readings and discussion. The outcome of each session will be a document, sound piece or video that is a reflection of the research. It may take the form of an art piece or of a documentation. These will be included within Jenny’s PhD, but may also be used by other members of the group for their own purposes. This is group work, with contributions by each invited participant, who approaches the topic from a distinct artistic field or with their own developed methodology.
For the first RLS the group will explore in conceptual, electro-magnetic, and analogue sound the idea of transduction. Through movement exercises that embody the processes of transformation of energies, to electro-magnetic designs of home-built speakers that rely on transformation of one type of energy into another, and readings (by Douglas Kahn and others) that deal with Energies in the Arts), the group will go deep into the topic of transduction.
Transduction is the conversion of one type of energy into another, it is a transformation, an interpretation, a fluidity of sorts or, maybe even, a change from one language into another. One might think of it as the influence of music on the body that makes you want to move, to dance. The process of transduction is usually located at a point. For example, the ear drum and other parts of the ear that transduce waves of air pressure into audible sound. A piezo disc /microphone converts pressure into electricity, or can be inverted to become a speaker, producing vibrations out of electrical signals.
Transduction can also be a kind of sensitivity, such as we have with the senses, or it can be transduction of memory from a dream state into the conscious one, or the sensation of blood felt within the landscape across bodies and time.
Energies (both audible and inaudible vibrations) can move between things and bodies and objects and systems and they can vibrate us within a wave. These musics, rhythms, vibrations enables us to connect and feel with each other, and feel with the world. It both highlights differences (of signals, kinds of energies, languages, and of bodies) and at the same time, it forges connections, collapses distance and difference. It also opens up other temporal frameworks. It suggests through its transformation, ideas of re-birth, cyclical rhythms, metamorphosis. Is transduction even a linear process? Or does it go both ways, does energy intimacy involve a two-way transduction of energies?