This April I had the pleasure of moderating a panel for the always excellent annual What Now? symposium organized by Art in General and the Vera LIst Center at the New School, New York.
What Now? 2015 examines the idea of listening as a political act, a pedagogical process, and a protocol for engagement. Opening with an analysis of listening, the symposium considers the scientific definition of the term alongside perspectives on listening that are shaped and informed by diverse social, cultural, technological, and spatial considerations. As keynote speaker Lawrence Abu Hamdan has noted, “Listening is not a natural process inherent to our perception of the world but rather constructed by the conditions of the spaces and times that engulf us”.
I participated in SESSION THREE: FACT, FICTION, AND THE IN-BETWEEN
This panel addresses the slippages between truth and fiction in relation to interpretative listening, media communication, and acts of testimony, translation, or redaction. What is the place of language and translation in this evolving narrative space? Every translation sets into play distinct vocabularies and systems of listening and interpreting, and it is in these encounters that priorities and positions are negotiated. In forensic analysis, for example, how are ideas of truth, testimony, propaganda, translation (or “untranslatability”) played out? In terms of oral histories, why are narratives meant to be listened to rather than read alone, and what is the relative role and importance of accuracy, credibility, and the spinning of truth within this realm?
Moderator: Lauren van Haaften-Schick
Participants: Joshua Craze, Naeem Mohaiemen, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
Full information on the symposium here.