NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1934 __ « For sounds are always effects »
John Dewey (1859-1952)
French comment : “Pour les sciences sociales, la perception visuelle reste une puissante métaphore, jusqu’à focaliser parfois exclusivement les études et les analyses ; que l’on pense par exemple aux notions de visibilité et d’observabilité dans le cas de l’appréhension de l’espace public urbain. Cependant, d’autres pistes de réflexion dressent les contours sociaux d’une part importante de notre exposition sensorielle et de nos activités perceptives : la dimension sonore. Ainsi, pour le philosophe pragmatiste américain John Dewey, les sons renvoient à des effets : à « la manifestation immédiate des changements apportés par des forces en lutte ». Ailleurs, ce sont les philosophes Roberto Casati et Jérôme Dokic qui soulignent la « nature événementielle du son », c’est-à-dire le fait que la survenue d’un son est liée à la survenue d’un événement dans le monde, comparativement à la « simple » perception de qualités visuelles ; ou encore, l’anthropologue Tim Ingold pour qui il est question d’ entendre les activités » (Tim Ingold, 1993)”. (Anthony Pecqueux)
Original excerpt 1 : « [...] The ear and eye complement one another. The eye gives the "scene" in which things "go on" and on which changes are projected.leaving it still a scene even amid tumult and turmoil. The ear, taking for granted the background furnished by cooperative action of vision and touch, brings home to us changes as changes. For sounds are always effects; effects of the clash, the impact and resistance, of the forces of nature. They express these forces in terms of what they do to one another when they meet; the way they change one another, and change the things that are the theater of their endless conflicts. The lapping of water, the murmur of brooks, the rushing and whistling of wind, the creaking of doors, the rustling of leaves, the swishing and cracking of branches, the thud of fallen objects, the sobs of depression and the shouts of victory.what are these, together with all noises and sounds, but immediate manifestation of changes brought about by the struggle of forces ? Every stir of nature is affected by means of vibrations, but an even uninterrupted vibration makes no sound; there mus be interruption impact and resistance. Music, having sound as its medium, thus necessarily expresses in a concentrated way the shocks and instabilities, the conflicts and resolutions, that are the dramatic changes enacted upon the more enduring background of nature and human life. The tension and the struglle has its gatherings of energy, its discharges, its attacks and defenses, its mighty warrings and its peaceful meetings, its resistances and resolutions, and out of these things music weaves its web. It is thus as the opposite pole from the sculptural. As one expresses the enduring, the stable and the universal, so the other expresses stir, agitation, movement, the particulars and contingencies of existances.which, nevertheless, are as ingrained in nature and as typical in experience as are its structural permanences. With only a background there would be monotony and death;with only change and movement there would be chaos, not even recognized as disturbed or disturbing. The structure of things yields and alters, but it does so in rhythms that are secular, while the things that catch the ear are the sudden, abrupt, and speedy in change. [...] The eye is the sense of distance.not just that light comes from afar, but that through vision we are connected with what is distant and thus forewarned of what is to come. Vision gives the spread-out scene.that "in" and "on" which, as I have said, change takes place. [...] Sound stimulates directly to immediate change because it reports a change. [...] Sound is the conveyor of what impends, of what is happening as an indication of what is likely to happen. It is fraught much more than vision with the sense of issues; about the impending there is always an aura of indeterminateness and uncertainty.all conditions favorable to intense emotional stir. [...] » (pp. 245-246)
Original excerpt 2 : « [...] Car les sons sont toujours des effets ; effets du choc, de l’impact et de la résistance des forces de la nature. [...] Le clapotis de l’eau, le murmure des ruisseaux, la précipitation et le sifflement du vent, le grincement des portes, le froissement des feuilles, le bruissement et le craquement des branches, le bruit sourd des objets qui tombent, les sanglots de l’abattement et les cris de la victoire – que sont-ils tous [...] si ce n’est la manifestation immédiate des changements apportés par des forces en lutte ? Tout mouvement de nature est le produit de vibrations. »
Source : Dewey, John (1934), “Art as Experience”, Rahway, NJ: The Barnes Foundation Press; New York: Perigee Books, 1980; and also, New York: The Berkeley Publishing Group, Perigee, Penguin Books. 2005.
Source : Dewey, John (1934), “L'Art comme expérience”, In Oeuvres philosophiques III, dir. J.-P. Cometti, trad. J.-P Cometti, Ch. Domino, F. Gaspari, C. Mari, N. Murzilli, Cl. Pichevin, J. Piwnica, G. A. Tiberghien, Publications de l’Université de Pau/éd. Farrago, 2005.
Source : Ingold, Tim (1993), “The Temporality of the Landscape”, World Archaeology, vol. 25 n° 2, p. 152-174.
Urls : http://noggs.typepad.com/the_reading_experience/john_deweys_art_as_experience (last visited ) http://actualites.ehess.fr/nouvelle3619.html (last visited )

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