aifoon has a nose for the art of listening

Aifoon investigates the art of listening in an artistic way. As a participatory art organisation, Aifoon challenges people to follow soundtracks with a conscious listening attitude and to scan and design their surroundings by listening. Through artistic interventions and participatory projects Aifoon wants to activate listening socially and thus provide an alternative to the visual dominance.

Aifoon examines the movement, the dimensions and the scope in the listening. Through artistic interventions and projects, Aifoon teases and questions the listening attitudes and listening strategies of her audience/participants/listeners. 

The art of listening brings for Aifoon the event related nature of sound into focus. Not only the moment itself, but also what precedes the sound and what comes afterwards are equally important. Aifoon not only leads to art and co-creation, she also participates actively in the artistic discourse with respect to listening and sound.

Aifoon cooperates as a small nimble satellite organization with the development of the artistic and social discourse in terms of listening and is therefore looking for substantive allies to implement new plans.

Aifoon is a participatory arts organization. Participatory work is a dynamic, evolving process and is not a preformatted blueprint. Co-creative processes are moderated by artist colleagues. The participant/listener becomes an artist himself(composer and performer). Only this way we can grow in an intrinsic way into a richer listening culture.

Our methods? As a short acquaintance and active business card we offer a number of activities that indicate the different dimensions in listening (LuisterMassa'ge, BlindDate, our listening performance Fondouk, ...).

In addition, Aifoon invests in fundamental projects and long-term projects (Oorkanaal, residency at Huis van Alijn, The City Rings, ...). 

Aifoon selects four themes around which we want to deepen the artistic practice. The key question of each project is: what is the role of embodiment, space, memory and (cultural) boundaries within listening and how do they move our listening attitudes and listening strategies? These themes are examined for each project and each partnership.

 Our objectives are threefold, but are also intertwined:

1. to increase consciousness around acoustic ecology and acoustic living together.

2. to enrich the prevailing poverty in listening and to broaden insights by nuancing and broader contextualisation of the negative attitude towards sound (cfr. hearing loss and noise pollution).

3. to provide a counterweight in a complementary manner against the often one-sided visual dominance in art and society.

Our participatory concept has two forms of co-creation:

The first form works with partners from a tabula rasa. Listening is questioned in an active way, to help them to reflections on the acoustic environment. With recordings we give people a way to reflect actively about silence, sound and their everyday surroundings. Creative use of sound is not subject to codes (which enables to create people free of genres) and is a medium where you can intuitively (music theory or pre-knowledge is not required) via speakers and / or editing software for sound compositions come to  artistic communications. Recordings in addition tell something about the perception and position, and so about the way of listening. These sound recordings and compositions can be used to link back to the environment.

This is the second form of participation: Hacking. Audio Hacking literally means 'break into’ the listening environment. This can be in an active way by making auditory adaptations to the environment, or through listening walks, where participants in a listening way to impact on the environment and thus are able to develop their own routes. In both cases, it ignores the obvious. Also, with our artistic interventions we confront people in a participatory way with their listening attitude. 

Aifoon is inspired by the philosophy of Deep Listening and Acoustic Ecology.

1. Deep Listening is a free method that reflects on the dimensional possibilities of listening. Aifoon looks at listening as an open attitude and conscious skill. Listening provides dynamically freedom to relate and position within a larger tangle of soundtracks (soundscape). Listening is not passive and unambiguously framed as it is usually approached, it is an open activity of negotiations which are driven by personal and cultural preferences from the past and the present. Listening is a participatory event where it is impossible to step outside or hide behind a Western canon.

2. Acoustic Ecology is a move that raises questions about how people relate to their environment through sound. She is concerned about the impact of sound on the well-being of living beings. Because sound is often perceived as negative and problemati (cfr. Noise, hearing loss ...) and we do not want to narrow the discussion down to noise measurements, Aifoon, an arts organization, acts as an intermediary providing artistic tools to let people reflect on the experience level and make them actively think  about alternatives in the environment.

In other words, listening is not limited to the ears but after resonates in the entire body, and membrane where resonances are sent and driven by personal paradigms.

As you can read, we are passionate about listening. If you have any questions about our operation? Do you want to find out what we can do for you, or vice versa? Please contact us! We do love to listen to your story too!