Being Persistently in Place I: Union St., Aberdeen
Performance on 42 May, 2014, duration: 240 minutes
In the end, my walk on Union St. Took a full four hours—240 minutes, which meant that I walked about 17 to 20 times slower than my normal walking speed.
During the walk, my body moved, albeit very slowly. My listening to the street obviously had a focal point—the place where my listening body was. But as I was moving very slowly, I recognised at every moment that the focal point also moved very slowly.
The listening attitude based on the Studio aesthetics was continuously challenged: the most surprising thing was that it was extremely difficult to keep listening. You can never engage in “listening” for 240 minutes. Taking time and taking place put me to the boredom of such listening. Furthermore, my body started to ache after about one hour; my listening body began to resist. And most importantly, and as the consequence of the above, taking time and taking place gradually and effectively opened up my listening— revealing that the listening as we understand and believe we perform in one instant, in fact, consists of multivariate and heterogeneous activities of listenings.
Being Persistently in Place I: Union St., Aberdeen was conceived as a listening exercise through which I hoped to return to place (the real), and ultimately to regain my body in listening and explore new ways of composing. The experience of the work has then led to a series of compositional activities, collectively titled Four Landscapes.