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15 JAN 2024 | Dr. Elen Flügge | Listening while: auditory practices in research

source: Kathrin Scheidt

What, and how, are we ‘studying’ when we undertake sound studies? We might be observing our own listening habits and those of others. We might be investigating acoustics on site or theorizing how ‘listening’ is understood in a particular social context. Often, we are using some form of listening to investigate other phenomena, places, or persons. Listening while walking, recording, interviewing, writing or drawing can all become the basis for practical methods. This lecture explores a number of listening practices – in the sense of formalized and applied uses of listening – as means of understanding shared auditory environments. These include methods employed in artistic and qualitative research in sonic arts as well as other disciplines, which have used techniques such as listening walks or audio recording in research designs. This talk considers how listening practices might be construed as situated, multifaceted, culturally-embedded, and adaptable tools for processes of knowledge creation and/or disruption.



Dr. Elen Flügge is a writer, researcher and sound artist, focusing on personal and urban sound space, site specific works, and listening perspectives. After studying philosophy at Bard College, NY, she obtained a Sound Studies masters at the UdK (University of Arts) in Berlin, focusing on auditory culture and experimental sound installation.

She recently completed her PhD, “Listening Practices for Urban Sound Space in Belfast” at SARC (Sonic Arts Research Centre) at Queen’s University Belfast, UK, in cooperation with Recomposing the City research group. Her project used methods drawn from sonic arts and ethnography, such as conversational soundwalks, to explore inhabitants’ auditory experience in public spaces and consider potentials of city sound planning. Flügge has been active in numerous musical projects and ensembles, with violin as well as voice, such as HIVE experimental choir in Belfast. Her publications on sonic arts and listening include a chapter for the Bloomsbury Handbook of Sound Art (2020).

She is currently developing a soundwalk for the upcoming Klangstaetten / Stadtklaenge festival in Braunschweig 2023.