Audibility – an audio visual work by HYENAZ featuring Donato Laborante
In their audiovisual artwork Audibility, sound and movement artists Kathryn Fischer and Adrienne Teicher (HYENAZ) delve into the politics of sound, inviting viewers to reconsider their relationship to the audible and inaudible, to silence and silencing.
Filmed in an ancient man-made cave in the Murgia region of southern Italy, poet Donato Laborante delivers a poetic exploration of different forms of silence(s), holding in his hands the stalk of the Ferula Ferrita plant, an emblem of the Murgia’s unique ecology.. The plant’s presence becomes an integral part of the artwork, questioning the animacy of non-human and even non-animal; inviting into our consciousness this plant’s ability to speak, and more importantly–to provide consent to being part of an artwork.
HYENAZ suggest that audibility is deeply political and involves the willingness of the listener to hear differently; that this process is a mutual co-practice of speaking and listening and challenges the entire sonic environment to relate otherwise. This is intertwined with embodied, somatic experiences, requiring a shift in our listening practices and a willingness to embrace the subtle nuances of sound and language.
Audibility invites us to engage with silence not as a void, but as a dynamic and multifaceted presence. HYENAZ implore us to listen attentively, to seek out the whispered voices that emerge from the depths of silence–even to hear silence as something other than what we think it is–and to recognize the profound interplay between sound and silence in shaping our understanding of the world.
Through their rigorous processes of deep listening and field recording, HYENAZ capture the inherent sonic richness of their environment, transforming these raw sounds into a tapestry of auditory experiences. Their work encourages us to question the neutrality of sound archiving, recognizing the transformative power of manipulating and reinterpreting recorded sounds.
HYENAZ posit that archived sounds, whether human, non-human, animate, or inanimate, acquire a new existence, becoming intersubjective entities with the potential to give or withhold consent. They advocate for a respectful approach towards the auditory realm, acknowledging the agency of each sound source and its place within the broader sonic landscape.