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PoL #50 Deaf Gain: exploring sound, technology and hearing diversity

12th November 2019 @ 4:15 pm - 9:00 pm

a spectogram - green, blue, pink stipes

PoL #50 Deaf Gain: exploring sound, technology and hearing diversity

With: Carol Chermaz, Tom Tlalim, Seohye Lee

Tuesday 12 November 2019

4.15pm – 9pm | London College of Communication (Directions)

Free with limited space. To reserve a place please email: brigitte@listeningacrossdisciplines.net


This Points of Listening event in collaboration with Listening Across Disciplines II will investigate the relationships between sound, listening and technology within the context of deaf gain (Bauman & Murray, 2014). The term is foregrounded over ‘hearing loss’ as an affirmative way to position the wealth of contributions deaf culture provides across science and art. Within the specific context of sound studies/art we are interested to add to this re-interpretation of the notion of ‘loss’ through ‘diversity’, and to engage in questions such as:  what is deemed normative or natural listening and who gets to decide such parameters? How is technology enabling or disavowing deaf culture? How useful are terms such as hearing loss, hearing diversity and deaf gain? How might artists and scientists work together – with the aid of protocols – in ways that can establish ethical and aesthetic technologies? Through talks, screenings and practice-based listening scenarios we will approach such questions together in a critical and supportive atmosphere of participation and debate.



Marie Curie Fellow Carol Chermaz will introduce her research on speech intelligibility and simulated listening tests conducted within The Centre for Speech Technology Research (University of Edinburgh). Chermaz will present her binaural sound environments as part of an experimental and participatory listening test, one that moves beyond the scientific scenario of an isolated individual wearing headphones and instead explores the potential of multi-channel collective listening. www.homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/s1758351/

Artist and composer Tom Tlalim will present his sound art project, ‘Tonotopia’, where he recently collaborated with users of Cochlear Implants (CI), exploring hearing / listening journeys with digital ears. He will discuss examples from two curated shows at the Victoria and Albert museum – ‘Tonotopia: Listening Through Cochlear Implants’ and ‘The Future Starts Here’ – where composing and curating sound art for a spectrum of hearing abilities became a central theme. After the presentation Tlalim will enter into a conversation with artist Seohye Lee, whose work draws on her own experience of hearing loss. www.tonotopia.org/

Seohye Lee’s multidisciplinary work takes inspiration from her own experience of hearing loss, exploring the difference between hearing and listening; regardless of skill. Seohye uses the mediums of sound and illustration to experiment with new forms of narrative, creating playful pieces that challenge ways of listening. www.seohyelee.com/



A selection of films and sound works will also be screened throughout the event.

This event will be British Sign Language (BSL) signed.

Link to event on LxD website


Image Credit: ‘Tonotopia: Music for Cochlear Implants | A Catalogue of Leaves,’ (HD, Stereo), Tom Tlalim, 2018. Spectral analysis of rustling leave sounds performed by CI user Sarah Smith and the artist. 


Points of Listening
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London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle
London, SE1 6SB United Kingdom
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020 7514 6617
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