Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Looking VS. Listening

a friend made the observation that the term "communication design" means visual design, while human communication itself arguably has more to do audio. also in the education of children, looking is focused on as a means for knowledge to enter the brain, while hearing is more or less ignored.

other sound-artists I've talked to have sometimes complained that sound and music are not something the public and the (art) establishment, take nearly as seriously as visual art. music is entertainment for the most part, while "art" is deemed a more profound, significant, and indeed almost religious, experience.

and it's true, only in recent years have sound been *kind of* taken seriously, with the popularity of artists like Christian Marclay. while famous observations such as "sculture is more suited for the medium of sound, because you can perceive 3 dimensions simultaneously; and with an object you have to walk around it" (who said that again?) have been uttered many years ago. so in this light perhaps the concerns of something like cubism can be easier realized with sound rather than collage or sculpture.

would you agree that in general our societies and cultures seem to (unjustly, arbituarily) privilege the eyes over the ears? and if you do, where do you think this prejudice comes from?

my knowledge of western philosophy is limited, but i vaguely think this has something to do with the enlightenment and the materialism which followed -- sight would seem to be a more concrete measurement of the physical universe - after all seeing is believing, and sound is just so abstract, intangible, and ephemeral.

any of you smarties out there care to elaborate?