Monday, March 31, 2014

Blind Sound Walk

For me, the blindfolded sound walk was a surprisingly enlightening experience. I didn't expect that removing my sight would be so frightening. I was unnerved by my dependence on my partner to guide me and my overall insecurity. At first it felt as if I was being overcome by sounds. When blindfolded, my hearing became more impartial. It seems that sometimes the eyes decide what we hear, or at least how we process sounds. My heightened sense of hearing was obviously compensating for my lack of vision, but my mind did not know how to process the influx of auditory information, at first, without sight.

For a while I would turn my head instinctually in the direction of a sound, to attempt to register its source visually. This was obviously pointless, but my sensory reactions were much quicker then my rational thinking. With time, though, this evolved into my forgetting sight and melting into the sound environment. The most distinct and interesting perceptual phenomenon I observed was how my heightened sense of hearing was directly correlated with a heightened sense of touch. It was as if in order to compensate for my lack of vision, I needed to make a sensory association with sound in another way. I found myself listening to the texture of different objects. I knew when I approached steps because there was a hollower wooden sound produced by the denser sound of the floor or carpet. When I walked outside, the first sound I heard was the wind- which of course was accompanied by my feeling the chill. This experience made me think about what sounds we usually associate with sight vs. touch or perhaps even taste. Can we ever listen without another sensory association?

1 comment:

  1. "Can we ever listen without another sensory association?" I don't think so…senses don't really work in isolation, do they? How could they? How can we separate them?