Discussion Questions #5

Question 1.  In Ways of Hearing episode 1, Krukowski indicates that time experienced in the real world is lived time, just as we experience it in the analog world.  It is experienced and not counted like a clock, and that experience is variable, always changing and flexible.  This is illustrated simply with how long something seems to take when it is not pleasant, as opposed  to how quickly it goes by when you are having fun.   Digital time on the other hand is not lived time, it’s machine time that is locked to a clock.  This time code makes everything more regular than lived time and as a result of this we give up our opportunity to experience time together because we are no longer experiencing each other’s unique timing as it happens in the moment.  Another result of digital time is something called latency, a delay between the actual moment and when we hear it.  This is caused by the time it takes to translate digital info to sound as well as the travel time through the various pieces of equipment.

Question 2. What Krukowski means when says listening has a lot to do with how we navigate space is that what we hear plays a big role in what we are aware of regarding our surroundings and how we travel through them.  He says specifically is that, we use our stereo hearing to locate sounds around us and to map where we are in relation to the source of these sounds.  If you limit your hearing with ear plugs or ear buds, you will be less aware of the space around you as well as the people.

Question 3. What Jeremiah Moss means by, privatizing public space in a very stealthy way, is that even though it is still technically a public space the city designated it as a pedestrian plaza, which allowed them to close off the street and create some rules.  It also resulted in the plaza having tables with umbrellas along with many big chain stores on the street level, completely different from when it was an actual completely public place.  Mr. Moss also indicates that people who are looking at their phone screens are basically attempting to be in a private place, a sort of bubble, while still being in a public place.  He indicates that this means they are opting out of street life and in a way the public has been triumphed over by the private.

Question 4.  According to Emily Thompson, as technology advanced in the 1920’s in what was known as a very loud decade, a desire to control sound in interior spaces resulted.  The goal of this control was to be able to hear exactly what someone wanted to hear and nothing else.  This was especially evident in the development of concert halls at the time, most notably Radio City Music Hall.  The hall was designed to be absorptive with the intention of limiting reverberation as much as possible.  In addition  the stage was completely mic’d with the sound being transmitted by speakers located throughout the hall.  The intended outcome of this design was that only what was being heard on stage was to be heard by the guests in the hall.  Basically exactly what people wanted  to hear, or paid to hear, and nothing else.  According to Krukowski, this desire to hear what and when we want, like in Radio City, is much like when we put on our earbuds.  We create our own internal refuge and drown out the outside world.

Question 5.  For me the key ideas in this episode about the relationship between space and time is how much sound influences our awareness of our surroundings, or space, and how much we as a society try to control that space through the manipulation of sound.  This episode also made me realize how much people today want to live in their own bubble, their own sound bubble, and why it is we want to do it.  I, for one, am very guilty of it and while Mr. Moss was describing how much it infuriates him, it had the opposite effect on me.  I found myself saying, yeah that’s right, let me and everyone else who finds serenity in that manner, continue to do so, because, for me, it’s the only way to stay sane in this extremely loud city.  But the most interesting thing to me about this episode was the degree to which sound impacts our awareness of space.  I always thought sight was the major factor and sound contributed very little, but apparently I was wrong.

3 thoughts on “Discussion Questions #5

  1. Irina Pistol

    Jure I agree with your third paragraph, people are losing their freedom, there is no more self-expression as before it was on those public places, now we can see more rules and restrictions.

  2. christopher cordovez

    I agree with the 3rd answer, People are losing social connection with other people in today day. In past we had socially connect with people. Also, we are disconnect with the outside world and we are creating a bubble to separate ourselves from other people around us.

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