We employed several kinds of listening techniques throughout the week that have been developed by artists, sound ecologists, musicians, and activists. Exercises were based on deep Listening work developed by musician, composer, and visionary Pauline Oliveros; Gordon Hempton’s notion of “Outer Silence”. Listening session were also meant for tuning ourselves to the group and individual and for consciousness raising, and for reflecting and tuning towards our empathic capacities – our abilities to understand and share the emotional registers of other persons, animals, and the world around us.
We divided our week into a series of marco areas of research: Experimental Group Behaviour/Learning Processes, Language of Power and Ideology, Healthy and Ethical Groups Dynamics, Collaborative Practice. For every topic, we conducted exercises and discussions, such as those devolped by Allan Kaprow; moments of profound recognition of cognitive shifts and opening up of our perceptions to new possibilities; exercises developed by Temporary Services for understanding how we use language to identify our behavior in groups; exercises developed by Temporary Services, inspired by permacultural ways of visualizing complex interrelations from the production of food to political systems. We discussed the essay “Against Competition” by Marc Fischer and “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” by Jo Freeman, and shared stories of competition, group work, and how we all have negotiated problems related to these situations in various life situations. We also continued to develop our skills for paying attention to others and our surroundings, hearing silences, and sensing the world with our range of capacities, not just our intellect. Two texts helped frame this session: One Square Inch of Silence, by Gordon Hempton (Prologue: Sounds of Silence & Chapter 2: The Quiet Path) and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, by David Abram (Introduction: Between the body and the breathing earth & Chapter 1: Shadow).
We choose places to visit that had something in common with our daily discussions. The excursions are meant to be shared moments of convivialty, while exploring the richness of the Mugello Valley. We took tours at the School of Barbiana, organic cheese farm Baciotti, visited a bee farm, went on walks at Moscheta in Hell’s Valley and Frena valley.
Bibiolgraphy“Against Competition”, by Marc Fischer, Blunt Art Text (B.A.T.) #2, April 2006 “The Hidden Paradox of Human History”, by Jeremy Rifkin, from The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Consciousness In A World In Crisis, Penguin:New York, 2009, pages 5-43. “Prologue: Sounds of Silence” and Chapter 2 “The Quiet Path”, by Gordon Hempton, One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Quest To Preserve Quiet, Free Press: New York, 2009, pages 1-3 and pages 12-40. “The Tyranny of Structurelessness”, by Joreen “Jo” Freeman, The first official place of publication was in Vol. 2, No. 1 of The Second Wave (1972) “Introduction: Between the body and the breathing earth”, Chapter 1 “Shadow”, and Chapter 4 “Reciprocity”, by David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, Pantheon Books: New York, 2010, pages 3-12, 13-24, and pages 57-80. A selection from Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice by Pauline Oliveros
Additional texts for your information: “Introduction” and Chapter 1 “General Idea Interview”, by Temporary Services, Group Work, Printed Matter: New York, 2008. Group Work: A Compilation of Quotes About Collaboration from a Variety of Sources and Practices, by Temporary Services, self-published booklet, 2002 “Some theses on militant sound investigation, or, listening for a change.” By Ultra-Red