54 55 54 55

‘The eyes see what the ears hear.’
David Lynch
1
‘Nihil est in intellectu, quod non fuerit in sensu,
excipe: nisi ipse intellectus.’ Leibnitz
2

(Nothing is in the mind that was not in the senses,
except the mind itself.)
Note: how the reader listens to the linked sounds
in this article is a matter of contingency and
convenience. For optimum listening use a good
quality sound system and speakers, and a ‘natural’
level of volume –do not over-amplify. Headphones
can tend to focus on particular sound events and
exclude ambient dynamics.
In a glass case, in the musical instrument gallery
of the recently remodelled (2009) Ashmolean
Museum in Oxford, is the so-called ‘Messiah’
Stradivarius of 1716, perhaps the most famous
of all the Stradivarii, regarded as being in a ‘new’
state as it has seldom been played. One of the
conditions of its bequest to the museum is that it
remains in this condition. This is one of the most
rarefied objects in a rarefied collection, and its
sound-box, the source of much of its allure,
is perhaps one of the most considered and
mysterious sonic spaces in existence. Although
unable to produce music, the sound-box resonates
and amplifies the sound of its enhanced
surroundings.

1. Room 39, the Ashmolean Museum,
Oxford
In the XVI century gallery of the Wallace Collection,
a relative sonic oasis close to Oxford Street in
central London, the cool eroticism of the
melancholic Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo, wife of
Cosimo de Medici, by Bronzino (1503-1572) and
famed for the artist’s rendering of her gown, hangs
in juxtaposition to harsh walkie-talkie notifications
of ‘a pick-up at the back door’.

2. Eleanor of Toledo, (c. 1562-72), Bronzino,
XVI Century Gallery, the Wallace Collection
Busy major public contemporary spaces such
as the turbine hall of Tate Modern are reminiscent
The Eyes See
What the Ears Hear
Dissonance between looking at and listening to objects and spaces
Andrew McNiven
Artist/Lecturer: Senior Research Fellow in Visual Cultures,
Zeppelin Universität, Friedrichshafen.
54 55 54 55
sonically of playgrounds, railway stations or
massive receptions.

3. Shibboleth, (2007), Doris Salcedo,
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern
Gallery 3 of Camden Arts Centre, due to its
proximity to traffic lights on the A41 trunk road,
sounds like the starting grid of a motor race every
few minutes.

4. Observation Point, (2012), Zoe Leonard,
Gallery 4, Camden Arts Centre
This is not to suggest that there is an ideal sonic
environment for the display of art and material
culture, one which is cloistered and hushed.
Museums and galleries are part of the social and
cultural infrastructure of our society and as such
reflect that society. Sound is a variable condition,
difficult to control. It leaks, it pervades, it is
omnipresent, it is inevitable. It resonates and
disperses in the medium in which we co-exist. We
are co-temporal with sound. It provides to us the
knowledge that we are part of something more
expansive than ourselves.
In the early twenty-first century we create and
experience both quantities and levels of sound that
are unprecedented historically. It is noteworthy that
the motivation of many early researchers into the
sonic environment per se approached the field in
a bid to address these changes. The Canadian
composer and environmentalist R. Murray Schafer
established an educational and research group at
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engage 34 The Eyes See What the Ears Hear
Simon Fraser University in Vancouver during the
late 1960s and early 1970s, which sought to
establish a documentary archive of the sonic
environment. It was called the World Soundscape
Project (WSP). (The term ‘soundscape’ was coined
by Schafer to describe the existing sonic
environment.) The WSP grew out of Schafer’s
initial attempt to draw attention to the sonic
environment through the study of noise pollution.
The establishment of the WSP attracted a group of
highly motivated young composers and students,
and the group worked first on a detailed study of
the immediate locale, published as The Vancouver
Soundscape, and in 1973 the CBC Ideas radio series
Soundscapes of Canada. This series is comprised of
ten one-hour programmes and features extended
excerpts of field recordings, regarded as a
milestone in sound documentary practice.
In 1975 a WSP research project made detailed
investigations of the soundscape of five villages,
one in each of Sweden, Germany, Italy, France and
Scotland.
3
Schafer’s definitive soundscape text,
The Soundscape: The Tuning of the World was
published in 1977.
4
In this book Schafer defined
the ‘soundscape’, analogous to the sonic landscape,
and a term not just limited to pre-existing or
ambient sounds – in other words, it was able to
be ‘made’, in the manner of landscape, artwork,
musical composition or architecture, and therefore
able to be managed and controlled. Emerging out
of what he felt was increasing noise pollution,
his approach was expansive rather than restrictive.
He advocated a positive approach to the sonic
environment involving education, sensitising
listeners to the soundscape and effecting positive
change through this. He calls this education
‘clairaudience’, literally ‘clear hearing’.
5
He advocated a
culture of managing and organising sound through
a clearer and more sensitive process of listening.
My own involvement with sound developed during
an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-
funded, practice-led doctoral research at
Northumbria University, in which the conditions
(both theoretical and physical) of display in the
context of the museum and gallery were
considered. Formal and informal installation
photography was used initially, but this was largely
superseded and replaced by sound recording.
Sound shares a medium
with the spaces and
objects in any recording.
In approaching
architecture and material
through auditory rather
than visual means, an
entirely different register
of present conditions
become known and
understood.
56 57
Spending extended periods of time photographing
art and material culture made me sensible to the
ambient conditions of the spaces and architecture
in which they are displayed. I was particularly struck
by the hum of a dehumidifier next to a Mondrian
painting in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern
Art in Edinburgh. I used my mobile phone to record
the sound and listened to this on an iPod later.
6

5. Composition with Double Line and
Yellow, (1932), Piet Mondrian, Room 3
(European Modernism), Scottish National
Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
In this process of separation or dislocation,
I became immediately struck by the relationship
between an object, a space and the sonic
environment which they share.
It is important to note that where photography
excludes, through the physics of its brief ’moment
in time’ and the optical restrictions of lenses, sound
is inclusive. There is leakage from the entire
ambient sonic environment of a space, and this
cannot be easily excluded. Sound shares a medium
with the spaces and objects in any recording. In
approaching architecture and material through
auditory rather than visual means, an entirely
different register of present conditions become
known and understood. In terms of the museum,
these can be at odds with the idea of a what could
be called a projected ‘proper’ or even appropriate
sonic environment and reality – the ubiquity of the
squelch of walkie-talkies in many major museums
providing the soundtrack to a history of the world’s
art, or the ‘bing-bong’ of a lift resonating through
a sequestered Stradivarius.
7
In addition, sound allows for something of the
temporality of the conditions of display to be
captured. In many cases this is unstable and
shifting in character and this instability and these
shifts are inevitably part of the processes of
reception, excluded from the photographic record.
8
Ambient sound and conditions of display
My initial practice involving sound focused on ideas
of temporal and spatial displacement. Having made
online requests for ambient recordings of gallery
spaces, I made contact with a sound engineer who
had worked on a (now lost) documentary film
about Pop Art, and the work of Warhol and
Lichtenstein in particular, made in the early 1970s,
some of which had been shot in the galleries
of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
As soundman he had recorded what are known
as ‘atmos’ (atmosphere) tracks which are simply
the present ambient sounds of the location being
filmed. These can be used in the final editing
process to provide a simple and authentic textured
background sound ‘atmosphere’ for any sequence
of film. Their use is ubiquitous in most film and
television production. He offered these recordings
to me to use in my research and practice.
That they were made in the Museum of Modern
Art was critical, but I was struck as much by the
point in time when the recordings were made.
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engage 34 The Eyes See What the Ears Hear
They were made in 1972, at the very end of the
modernist period.
9
They were made in a part of the
museum that was demolished in 1979 and now only
exists in documentary form. The recordings were in
poor shape due to tape deterioration, and sections
had been lost, so only relatively short fragments
remained, like the persistence of scent in a Roman
perfume bottle, sealed for hundreds of years then
re-opened, a tangible trace of something long gone.
The final sound installation allowed the viewer
10

an immediate and intimate access to a historically
privileged space, far-removed temporally and
spatially, what the art historian Mary Staniszewski
has described as the ‘ideological apparatus’ used
to smooth and legitimate the initial passage of
modernism into the United States and one of the
prototypes of Brian O’Doherty’s ‘White Cube’, at
the very end of that period of (heroic) modernism
during the 1970s.
11

6. Andrew McNiven, excerpt of Monkey
Business No. 29, (2009), (Warhol, Lichtenstein,
1972)
CD player, amplifier, four speakers, looped ambient
sound recording made in Room 15 of the Museum
of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York,
(demolished 1979), June 17th 1972. Works by Andy
Warhol: Untitled (Electric Chairs), (1971) and Roy
Lichtenstein, Brushstrokes. (1967). Sound recording
courtesy of Mark Tauman, Chicago. Gallery
information label, perspex. Dimensions variable.
Photograph: Ikuko Tsuchiya.
The work invited the viewer to examine closely the
space which art inhabits when on display, whilst at
the same time experiencing directly something of
its archaeology and history.
13
This can be
understood in the same terms as an installation
photograph, a representation of a particular set of
cultural circumstances – the installation of these
works at this site at this time – which is revealing of
the ideas about, and the methods of temporary
display. Through evoking something of the
phenomenological and sensory experience of
being in a specific museum and looking at specific
art, the intention was to create in the viewer a kind
of temporal and geographical dislocation.
Using ambient sound recording in a creative
practice led me to consider more carefully the
relationship between a document and its
documented subject in terms of the conditions of
display. Unlike a photograph, a sound recording
undoes the stability of audience attention. In this
sense, sound recording is a form of capture that
fails to ‘fix’ (render static) these conditions, and
which therefore, reinstates and reproduces,
to an extent, something of the original interplay
(between space, object and viewer) in the
processes of reception.

7. The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors,
Even (The Large Glass), (1915-23), Marcel
Duchamp, reconstruction by Richard Hamilton
1965-6, lower panel remade 1985, Tate
Modern
58 59
I recorded specifically (and continue to record) the
sonic conditions of museums and art spaces of all
kinds from the institutional to the alternative to
create an archive of these conditions. Almost all
the spaces were purpose-built or adapted and
directed to the display of art and material culture,
with a few exceptions, such as the Freud Museum.
The choice of site was determined by the
relationship between the object and its site;
the architecture, the external influences, the
consideration (or lack thereof) of the sonic
conditions through management or design,
or the iconic nature of the site or work. It is an
architecture of predominantly hard surfaces,
acoustically reflective and amplifying, often
precluding a closeness or intimacy within the
spaces and therefore with the work they host,
distorting ideas of distance and often affecting
communication with others and through this
determining patterns of behaviour.
‘Being with’ not ‘looking at’
It was possible, through a process of critical
reflection and seminar discussions with
undergraduate and postgraduate students
from Northumbria University, to come to some
conclusions around this documentary-based
practice The experience of listening to a sound
recording of a gallery or museum space places
the viewer securely ‘in’ that space; unlike
photography which easily isolates viewers from
their surroundings, with the unrestricted capture
available in a sound recording, it is difficult to
imagine that one is elsewhere. Recorded and
reproduced sound reflects the co-relation of object,
viewer and context, and demonstrates something
of the phenomenological aspects of experiencing
architectural spaces and the material on display.
Creating sound documents of exhibitions shifts our
attention away from the ocularcentric aspects of
display; in focusing on the sonic envelope of an
exhibition space, the knowledge of display is
suspended within our expanded awareness of the
wider sensual range of exhibition experience.
14

8. Room 9 (Jeff Koons), ‘Pop Life: Art in a
Material World’, 2009, Tate Modern
Consideration of sound recording as an art practice
and in relation to photography, led me to ideas that
relate sound with spaces and objects, speculating
that a space or an object might ‘experience’ the
display process. The sound practice could then
be said to ‘side with’ the spaces, objects and the
processes of display it represents, being with rather
than looking at.
A literary precedent for this creative ‘siding’ is the
French prose-poet Francis Ponge’s (1899-1988)
writing, especially Le parti pris des choses,
published in 1942, which has previously been
translated as The Voice of Things, but more
recently, and perhaps more usefully, as Siding With
Things.
15
Ponge takes the side of specified objects
in the material world - doorknobs, figs, crates,
blackberries, stoves, water. He elaborates their
view and the world they inhabit. He does not
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engage 34 The Eyes See What the Ears Hear
anthropomorphise these inanimate or insentient
objects but simply reflects something of their
‘stuff’. In the words of Margaret Guiton, one of his
English translators, his work is nourished by
‘things’.
16
In ‘Le Parti pris des choses’, (The Pleasures of the
Door) from Le parti pris de choses, he both sides
and sounds: ‘With a friendly hand you hold on a bit
longer, before firmly pushing it back and shutting
yourself in – of which you are agreeably assured by
the click of the powerful, well-oiled latch.’
17

9. Latch
Through further critical reflection and speculation,
I propose that through this process of ‘siding’, the
viewer/listener can be exhorted to be complicit
with the spaces and the objects rather than with
the institutional or cultural context, and through
this, to be more sensible to the conditions of
display. In placing the shared aural experience
(shared between the recorder, the recorded and
the viewer) at the centre of the practice, rather
than marginalising or ignoring ambient sound,
the wider conditions of display can be experienced
distinctly, shifting something of the processes of
reception and therefore the production of
knowledge.
Contemporary museums often seek to sequester
themselves from the external environment, but are
punctuated and infiltrated by external sounds and
smells of traffic and the contemporary world, as
well as with the sensory clamour generated by
visitors: the squelch of walkie-talkies, or the low-
level murmured fizz of audiotours, the (often
digitally reproduced) clicking of cameras, the
squeal of sneakers, the lurid colours of visitors’
clothes, a Babel of languages, co-mingled
odours, and what James Joyce called the ‘pale
phosphorescence’ of farts. (Equally, absolute
stillness and the absence of others are factors,
the solitary viewer and solitary invigilator being,
sometimes, for some viewers, an inhibiting
experience.) These all influence the processes
of display and reception and it is important
to consider the museum as a multi-sensory
environment. We have to go back to a period
when emphasis was placed on the analysis of style
and form and the discrete work of art, notably the
writing of Heinrich Wölfflin and the Second Vienna
School, or the photographic representations of
visual culture in André Malraux’s (1901-1976) La
Musée Imaginaire to find a critical discourse that
fully dissociated context from meaning in art.
18
Multi-sensory knowledge
Michel Serres in Le Cinq Sens: philosophie des
corps mêlées (The Five Senses: The Philosophy of
Mingled Bodies, 1985: trans.:1998) writes of our
dependency on language as the mediator of
knowledge and understanding. Serres describes
the body as ‘receptive’ and ‘subtle’, preferring the
idea of a topology (rather than a geometry) of
knowledge. He appropriates Aristotle’s idea of
sixth sense, the quasi-sense sensus communis,
which mediates the other senses, and identifies this
60 61
with the skin. Serres uses lists and formal devices
to evoke the complexity of sensuality rather than,
as is common in most theoretical writing, seeking a
precise word or term. He speaks of sensory stimuli
fanning-out, diffusing, broadcasting, infiltrating,
to suggest the elusive qualities of the sensual.
Serres’ approach is, to an extent, reiterated by
Christoph Menke. Writing in 2012 in a discussion
of ‘art as knowledge’ versus ‘art as surface’ (and
speculating that both positions are wrong), Menke
emphasises that art should (still) be regarded as
a phenomenon beyond theoretical and rational
control.
19
In referring to Nietzsche, he points out
that art is about play, chaos, ecstasy, coincidence,
materiality and life, factors in what could be called
art’s production of knowledge which are not
conditional on language.
20
Recent work has challenged the cultural
dominance of vision, supporting the idea of sound
as a medium that has both documentary and
creative potential. Casey O’Callaghan and Mathew
Nudds (2010) write that ‘No topic in extra-visual
philosophy of perception has generated as much
attention in recent years as that of sounds and
audition.’
21
They go on to state:
‘More important, however, it signals a departure
from the tradition of relying upon vision as the
representative paradigm for theorizing about
perception, its objects, and its content. While the
implicit assumption has been that accounts of
visual perception and visual experience generalize
to the other senses, nothing guarantees that what
is true of seeing holds of touching, tasting, or
hearing. Intuitions about critical issues or particular
cases might differ in the context of different
modalities. While it might seem obvious in the case
of vision that perceptual experience is transparent,
or that space is required for objectivity, gustatory
and olfactory experiences might tell otherwise
(see, e.g., Lycan 2000; A. D. Smith 2002).’
22
Dan Flavin, one of the artists who emerged from the
ocularcentric shadow of Greenbergian modernism,
was reluctant to consider the unavoidable buzz and
hum made by his fluorescent light works and these
sounds were, of course, invisible in the photographic
installation shots used to represent and disseminate
his work.

10. Untitled (Marfa Project), (1996),
Dan Flavin
One of the legacies of modernism is the resolute
visuality that still dominates the design and
practices of the contemporary museum, its staging
of practice, its management of site and material,
and its modes of display. This is in contrast to
strands of development in artists’ practice through
the postmodern period which both question and
are suspicious of the privileging of, or emphasis on,
the purely visual or the single viewpoint. Hans
Haacke’s unrealised Norbert: ‘All Systems Go’ of
1970-1, Wolfgang Laib’s beeswax structures, or
Bruce Naumann’s 2004 Raw Materials in Tate
Modern’s Turbine Hall are unrelated examples.
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engage 34 The Eyes See What the Ears Hear
This legacy is expressed through museum and
gallery architecture which accommodates many
of these shifts easily, almost by default, or simply by
square acreage. However, the exclusion or co-option
of non-visual parts of the sensory register is often
contingent, and certainly open to question.
In considering the contribution made to my
recordings by the architecture and spaces
themselves, it is difficult not to conclude that this is
arbitrary. In other words, the sound environment
has not been considered actively, as in the
remodeling of the Ashmolean, or if considered,
through acoustically sympathetic materials, for
example, it is localised and exerts little overall
effect. In the case of larger museums, the sonic
conditions contribute to a strong sense of the
monumental institution, with little opportunity
for the intimate or tuned experience.
23
In place of such unintended reluctance, rooted
perhaps in the aesthetic impulses of modernism,
the approach of R. Murray Schafer, and others,
outlined earlier - a culture of managing and
organising sound through a clearer and more
sensitive process of listening - suggests an
approach within the museum and in museum
practices in which the wider sensual register,
and in particular the sonic, is considered in relation
to architecture, exhibition design, and day-to-day
management: an approach to art, material culture
and its display in which, as much as the visual
context, the sonic conditions are considered to
be a factor in the production of knowledge.

11. Metopes, Pediments and Frieze from
the Parthenon, Athens (The Elgin Marbles),
Room 18, the British Museum, London
Coda: Sigmund Freud

12. Freud’s Desk
The study in the Freud Museum, in his former
home in Hampstead, north London, is the room in
which he died. It includes the couch Freud used for
treating patients – a symbol of psychoanalysis, and
to some an object of veneration. The soundscape
of helicopters, traffic, giggly visitors, loud telephones
and leaked audio-visual programmes, is sometimes
at complete odds with the room’s and the objects’
history and its production of meaning.
A recording was made by placing a microphone
inside the front right-hand drawer of Sigmund
Freud’s desk in the study. The intention was to
demonstrate the sonic conditions experienced by
the desk as it now exists, within a museum, and
place it firmly, through sound practice, within
material culture. This is the same desk that
resonated to the sound of Freud’s voice and those
of his patients, the motions of his pen as he wrote
and other sounds associated with him, both
intimate and public, perhaps even sounds of his
death. The present sound environment in which
it exists includes a particularly jarring telephone
ringing tone, the commentary of visitors, the
sound of an audio-visual display elsewhere
within the museum – looping Gluck’s Eurydice
– and the sounds associated with people moving
62 63
around a space of that kind - the creak of parquet,
for example.
24
The effect of placing the microphone in the desk
was significant; it picked up sound resonating
through the desk as well as the air, so the sounds
were muffled, distorted, sometimes indistinct.
The sonic atmosphere created could be described
as dark, even malevolent, suggesting something
hidden or concealed. It also contains narrative
elements, with distinct events occurring
throughout the 19-minute recording. The work
forefronts the object, Freud’s desk, as one of the
primary sites of his activity (the other, his couch,
was a few feet away) and the work demonstrates
what the object ‘experienced’ - the room, its
activity and the processes of the museum. It could
be considered analogous to the ‘point-of-view’
shot in cinema, an analogy assisted by the diegetic
nature of the sound. (Sound in film is termed
diegetic if it is part of the narrative sphere of the
film. For instance, if a character in the film is
playing a piano the resulting sound is diegetic.
If, on the other hand, music plays in the
background but cannot be heard by the film’s
characters, it is termed extra-diegetic.) Through
this process, the object’s own agency, its active
presence emerges, as it stands and filters its
present sonic conditions.
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engage 34 The Eyes See What the Ears Hear
Notes
1. The Air is on Fire, Fondation Cartier pour l’art
contemporain, 2007
2. Leibnitz, G., New Essays on Human
Understanding, Book II, Ch1, §2 1704
3. Excerpts available through the British Library
here: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/
sound-and-vision/2013/07/
five-european-villages.html
4. Schafer, R. M. (1977) The Tuning of the World,
New York: Knopf. (Reprinted as Our Sonic
Environment and the Soundscape: The Tuning of
the World, Destiny Books, 1994).
5. Schafer’s legacy is apparent in projects such as
the London Sound Survey: http://www.
soundsurvey.org.uk or the British Library’s UK
Sound Map: http://sounds.bl.uk/Sound-Maps/
UK-Soundmap
6. I came to consider this sound as the ‘hum of
modernism’.
7. This is not to argue for what Walter Benjamin
termed the ‘auratic’ in museum conditions.
8. There are of course many efforts to document
exhibitions using both images, sound and the
temporal, from film to VR (video recording). In the
context of this article however, and the relationship
between sound and display, it is important to
narrow the sound register.
9. And in the same week as the Watergate burglary
in Washington DC.
10. I have maintained use of the term ‘viewer’ and
its active sense in this text to indicate a museum or
gallery attendee, whether they actually view or not,
for sake of clarity and consistency.
11. Staniszewski, M.A. (1998) The Power of Display:
A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum
of Modern Art, Cambridge, MA and London: MIT
Press. p. 70
12. ‘Monkey business’ is a reference to Donald
Judd’s ‘Statement for the Chinati Foundation
(1986) in which he states (of temporary installation
in relation to permanent installation) ‘It takes a
great deal of time and thought to install work
carefully. This should not always be thrown away...
Otherwise art is only show and monkey business.’
Judd, D. (1987) Complete Writings 1975-1986,
Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum. P111
13. A note on installation: soundworks are
reproduced as close as possible to original sound
levels, at a 1:1 scale. This avoids theatricality and
blends with existing ambient sounds, which tend
to support and enhance rather than interfere.
14. The process of making recordings has produced
some interesting collateral consequences. In
seeking to exclude my own sounds from the
recording I wait until my breathing is steady and
quiet – after walking around say - and will stand
still, relaxed, legs slightly apart, hands behind my
64 65
back and staring ahead, all so that I can avoid
any movement and rustle of clothing or noisy
breathing. I find I can stay like this for several
minutes, and it is an unobtrusive pose. There is
something of an air of self-conscious ‘listening’
about it, perhaps with parallels in the self-
conscious ‘looking’ of the photographer.
The unintended consequence is that in being
still and quiet I start to share the physical dynamics
of static objects around me; I am more sculpture
than viewer. The affinity with the objects, the
‘siding’ with things is enhanced. Whilst recording
in the British Museum I had a very strong sense of
being part of the community of objects, complicit
with these.
15. Ponge, F. Selected Poems, (1942, trans. 1994)
Edited Margaret Guiton, with translations by
Margaret Guiton, John Montague and C.K.
Williams. London, Faber and Faber. 1998
16. Ibid., page ix
17. Ibid., p. 29 (D’une main amicable il la reticent
encore, avant le repousser décidément et s’enclore,
- ce donc le déclic du resort puissant mais bien huilé
agráblement l’assure.)
18. It is noteworthy that parts of Malraux’s La
Musée Imaginaire were published in the UK as The
Voices of Silence.
19. Christoph Menke, Brauchen wir Kunst?
Documenta Brauchen wir Kunst? Und wenn ja,
wozu? Kassel hat die Documenta eröffnet und eine
aufregende Kontroverse über zeitgenössische
Werke entfacht, Die ZEIT, (23.06.2012):5
20. Writing of Catherine Bodner’s 2002-2004
installation ‘Bounce’, an empty space filled with the
scent of air-freshener, Jim Drobnick observes that:
‘For the artist, who originally hails from Switzerland,
the scent of Bounce is noticeably North American.
It is a cultural artifact, as much as any other
manufactured product, ... It also demonstrates the
capacity of the sensual to communicate and be
understood, beyond language, in this case the
knowledge and understanding of something
explicitly North American.’ Drobnick, J. (2010)
Airchitecture: Guarded Breaths and the [cough] Art
of Ventilation in: Art, History and the Senses, eds.
Patrizia di Bello and Gabriel Koureas, Ashgate Press,
London.
21. Callaghan, C. & Nudds, M. (2010) Sounds and
Perception: New Philosophical Essays, Oxford:
Oxford University Press. p.2
22. Ibid., p2
23. In some cases institutional sounds could be
considered ‘expensive’ or ‘exclusive’ in the manner
of the manufactured or engineered ‘clunk’ used in
the doors of expensive cars. The faintly fluid sound
of parquet sounds distinct and expensive, as does
the muffled swish of a large and heavy damped
door mechanism.
66 67 66 67
engage 34 The Eyes See What the Ears Hear
24. Prior to the museum opening that morning,
Anna Freud’s study, where decorators were
working, was filled with the Ken Bruce show on
BBC Radio 2 : Popmaster and Showaddywaddy.
Images
1. Idealised Portrait of a Courtesan as Flora,
(Lucrezia Borgia), Bartolomeo Veneto (c. 1520-25),
Städel Museum. Laser print, 13 x 10 cms, 2011.
Photo: Andrew McNiven.
2. Eleanor of Toledo, (c.1562-72), Bronzino, XVI
Century Gallery, The Wallace Collection. Laser print,
13 x 10 cms, 2011. Photo: Andrew McNiven.
3. View of the writing desk in the study (detail),
1938, silver gelatin print. Image: Edmund Engelman,
courtesy Thomas Engelman.