Blanca Bercial
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MA Thesis in History and Theory of Contemporary Art
San Francisco Art Institute, 2020

Listening to the Inframince—An Artistic Sensibility to Listen to the Liminal Crossings of Sound

Abstract

Sounds are immersed in place, and place is an everlasting project. Listening connects the thread between being and place. In this thesis, I propose listening to the possibilities of sound and place— a phenomenological examination of the sonic possibilities around us. Our everyday sounds shape our identities. As inhabitants of a place, we have agency to mediate sonic relationships with others through our sonic interconnectedness.

San Francisco is a place that promotes hygienic soundscapes or noisescapes—spaces that do not foster listeners, but silencers. An impossible silence which fulfills the individualism that permeates the city. Instead of spiraling down an impossible silence, I suggest efforts to listen to the unheard, and in doing so, to understand and analyze what constitutes silence.

Following Pauline Oliveros’s philosophy of Deep Listening, I embody and narrate my listening experiences, suggesting my own subjective sensibility to the sounds around me. My listening scores aim to heighten an awareness of place and an engagement with others through sound. I focus on the sonic inframince and the sounds embedded in silence—sounds passing, ephemeral encounters of sound. An engagement with the space and with others by listening to our in-between-ness.

MA Symposium ︎ (5:59-56:23)


Listening to the Inframince Reiteration No. 1


Listening to the Inframince Reiteration No. 2


Listening to the Inframince Reiteration No. 3