What is non-cochlear sound? This open question is followed by way of an initial explication of the psychophysiology of audition. Non-cochlearity in sound is posited firstly in terms of synaesthesia and the skin and body cavity reception of infrasonic and low frequency sound waves. The auditory imagination is a further example that can produce a perception of sound without any direct acoustic stimulation of either the ear or skin and body. However, one’s imagination still retains a relation to the sounds of the world we live in. From a phenomenological perspective this worldly relation is a fundamental characteristic of sound as something that is heard. On this basis the causality associated with empirical accounts of auditory perception as a product of biological processes are contrasted with an interrogation of sound qua sound. It is posited that the sounds themselves are non-cochlear in the sense of being non-physical phenomena disclosed in the lived experience of hearkening to the meaningful sounds one hears in the world.
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With all due respect, this reading on the phrase “non-cochlear sound” attends only to the psycho-physical meaning of the phrase and ignores its historical meaning. The phrase piggybacks blatantly on the phrase “non-retinal visual art” as coined by Marcel Duchamp. If we’re going to ignore the conceptual/historical/ social/political aspects of “non-cochlear sound” we should probably come up with another name for the phenomena in question, one that doesn’t carry Duchamp’s baggage.
Hi seth, I was thinking more along the lines of a critique of the empirical bias in various accounts of sound… that the sounds themselves are irretrievably worldly in the first case before we can rationalize them as psycho-physical percepts or even as potential grist for conceptual art. I like your non-cochlear thesis and think sound art brings this worldliness out into the open whereas music for music’s sake can be somewhat insular, I just take a bracketed path through Husserl and phenomenology to get there 🙂
Hi Zeug. My critique above was directed not at your take but at Malcolm Riddoch’s. And specifically at the adoption of the phrase, “non-cochlear” to describe a set of phenomena that would be better served by a different name.
Ha, and yes I’m the author
Well, then my critique is directed at your take and use of the phrase. Glad we cleared that up.
I do like the clearing that opens up a world, got half way there in that paper, writing up the next part for a continental philosophy conference in Auckland in Dec, would be interested in your critique!
Sounds more like Heidegger than Husserl. But sure, I’d love to see what you have to say.
Ah yes but my Heidegger is a Husserlian! Just like Derrida etal 🙂