auditory culture

Auditory Culture / AC, in which a normative listening culture overcoming nature becomes a culture out of the nature of listening ...

Hearing as a culture-forming paradigm in post-digital culture.

# from seeing to hearing.

# from mechanistic world "images" to hedonic cultures of experience.

# from mechanical interfaces to emotionally intuitive interfaces of any form of communication

# from a body-denying culture to a body-appropriate human culture of body-appropriate virtualities


The dominant role of music as an instrument of power, but also for personal social positioning and emotional mood management, not only in the everyday life of an event culture, has been empirically proven many times. The recent re-emergence of auditory media can be seen as a seismograph of some kind of subliminal perception of the shift from a visual to an auditory culture - nevertheless: "auditory culture" describes more than the cultural handling of "sound" as its "studies". Away from this object-oriented approach defined by the term "sound" even being connected with the implications of thinking in categories of the "Werk", "auditory culture" deals with hearing as an adequate form of human interaction with a mediatised world - with the alternative to the visually rational culture that has surrounded us up to now in all phenomena of life, which we mostly regarded unreflectively as "normal" - in understanding, as standing in front of and bringing light into the darkness in order to have a rationally enlightened understanding of the world .... The etymology of these words proves the visual dominance of our enlightened modern culture.


Not what do we understand about the world from one point of view, but how do we experience the world around us through hearing - that is the only question ... the only question in a mediatised world that withdraws from understanding by the way of thinking through mediatisation and thus distance and detachment from corporeality, because our way of thinking finally emerges from embodiments and cognitions of im-mediate bodily interaction with the environment.


After the transgression of the culture of mechanistic thinking through the mediatisation of the mechanical body (in robotics of the digital ages) and thus the dynamisation and digitalisation of everyday life, a turn from the dominance of visual culture to auditory culture can be observed - the "all-at-onceness" of the media world opens up to the body through its behaviour, which enables it to experience the auditory space (McLUHAN) - through auditory-controlled body-environment interaction.


It is the concept of "sound-gesture" that describes auditory behaviour - the first of all abstract impression of movement around the body and the expression of the "primary meaning" of perception for the body as its movability, physiological arousal. Both movement and the body's movability are directly communicative and lead to corresponding emotional and bodily co-movements, individually as well as in movements of masses.


The role of "sound-gesture" in any kind of communication is the theoretical and empirical centre of the creation and thus research of auditory culture - as content as well as method in laboratory experiments and epistemological media art.

"Sound-gesture is the paradigm of hedonic interaction after the transgression of the mechanistic paradigm (JAUK). Our mechanical as "instrumental" bodily behaviour has become useless (BAUDRILLARD) through the increasing extension of the body, but it remains the hedonic component of human behaviour that determines the "how" of an interaction with the environment - with physical and virtual, with social and cultural environments that are thereby formed in the fusion of the hedonic body with the once digital culture in a now post-digital culture.



The applied research within "auditory culture" is a process of transposing hearing onto a culture and thus "applying" hearing as a "transmedium" in all its spheres of life.

"Sound-gesture" is the corporeal basis of many cultural everyday functional interaction processes. Design is based on this knowledge and its technical implementation, from functional sounds within a "Werk"-oriented aesthetic to design processes by means of intuitive emotional interfaces from wo/man-machine to wo/man-wo/man interactions, and finally to social design, to the initiation of social as emotional climates in media worlds.


In addition to direct musical application and work in sound design, concrete areas are above all interpersonal communication and that between people and machines in virtual environments, thus communication and social architecture in general. In this context, the shaping of feeling by "sound-gestures" is transferred to emotional intuitive interfaces, their formalisation in AI enriched by AE, a demand for an artificial intelligence that already was postulated by Marvin MINSKY.

Knowledge based on excitation-determined behaviour from body knowledge, formulated in experimental aesthetics, is transferred to the intuitive design of any environment. Experimental aesthetics also provides a model for experimental philosophy / XPHI, as excitation-determined ethical agency of humans, now governed by homeostatic survival through the evolutionary advantage of commonality; results of corresponding research are transferred to decision-making behaviour of autonomous systems.


Creation by this kind of interaction is ultimately a whole-body one - in accordance with the concept of the "complete agent", in the multimedia network sound-gesture is a part, but a determining part of emotional communication, which determines the "undertone" of information, the "tonus" as "primary meaning" in the form of tension of the body, and is thus directly and transmedially transferred to the "how" of the "what" we perceice by all sense modalities and media - for the emotional shaping of everyday life. "Sound-gesture" is thus the basic paradigm of human creation of a humane "auditory culture".


current activities

Session - Art and Science: beyond communication   /   Nov. 24. 2022

Werner Jauk, AT:

Epistemological Media Art - Culture from the Nature of the Body by and for Every Body.

What else knowledge could be.


Ars Electronic 2022

Werner Jauk (AT) & Laura Sophie Meyer (DE) - 2022


Ver-Hand-lung versus? Ver-Hand-eln

scrabble & scribble - medial forms of creating worlds


Plan(et) B: Forward back - cultures of corpo-reality after those of in-sight and under-standing


The work is based on the German language, which allows "Ver-hand-lung"/negotiation to be etymologically derived from "ver-hand-eln" through "handling" hands. The english term more focuses on commercial activities.



Wittgenstein`s idea, thinking takes place in language based on corporeality, today is explained by embodied cognition: Understanding "secondary information" as signifying seeing perception of the mechanical body is based on experiencing "primary information" as meaning through the excitation of the seen for the hedonic body, the paradigm of hearing,

Information in social media symbolic signs/words as media of understanding "Ver-hand-lung" is "reduced" to emoticons as signals of the experience of the "ver-hand-elnden" body. Visual culture of modernity turns "forward back" to postmodern culture of the hearing body, to "auditory culture" as plan(et) B.



As epistemological media art/artistic research, the work uses an experimental design: understanding symbolic Ver-hand-lung versus experiencing bodily Ver-hand-eln, seeing symbolic signs as media of logic in language versus hearing signals as immediate bodily forms of interaction through arousal. Meanings are thereby dynamic forms of relations between culture and nature.

Symbolic "Ver-hand-lung" as well as immediate bodily "ver-hand-eln" always takes place within social life in cultural and biological networks. These are implicitly initiated by the spontaneous "secret" imagination of "whatever" a person wants to "share" with the other.


Symbolic Ver-hand-lung is done by "scrabble", the com-position of text by social negotiation of two interactors within culturally formed language. The dynamics of the logic of thought in language is described by information-theory; finally the basis of AI.

This seeing under-standing of the negotiation, formalized in language/visual arts, is externalized in symbolic images.

The bodily Ver-hand-eln is done by "scribble", the social negotiation of two interactors. Motion tracking captures handling agitations indicating communicative expression of the meaning for the body as sound-gesture.

The exciting action of "Ver-hand-eln", formalized in music, is externalized by "sonification".


These participatory processes interact with a learning system analyzing culturally semiological and individually biological meanings. It supports commonality by artificial emotionality reinforcing embodied cognition — commonality of understanding and experience in "syn-bios".



Presentation of our early video-art-projekts

on the transition from analogue to the first digital technologies of the series "sound in the intermedia" in

Bangkok, Thailand



at the

Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts,

CU Art 4c Gallery, Chulalongkorn University

The Projects were presented within

EVA - Experimental Video Art 17+18 Exhibition
Thai-European Friendship 2020+2021

we are very proud that our projects have been selected by the exhibition committee and thank its members and especially the project initiator, curator: Komson Nookiew

see pics of the exhibition on Facebook EVA


print publications

Jauk, Werner, Sound-gesture & Mediatisierung – musikalische als symbolische Form von embodied cognitions aus der Natur sonisch performativen Erlebens.Die Überschreitung einer einstigen Dichotomie ästhetischer Postulate von Musik als„beziehendes Denken“ bzw. »Spannung- Lösung« und der Körper in post-digitalen Kulturen,

In: Music in the Body - The Body in Music. Körper an der Schnittstelle von musikalischer Praxis und Diskurs. Hildesheim: Olms, eds. Christine Hoppe, Sarah Avischag Müller, Olms: Hildesheim 2021, pp. 273 - 292

coming soon:

pop-music & video-arts. Availability of technologies and thus the possibility of DIY as well as the dynamics of the sonic performative.

(provisional working title)


Emotional closeness despite physical distance - working on the bodily presence in re-presence of mediated human interactions ... an installation as part of a scientific & artistic research project "the body & auditory as humane culture"

artwork: Elisa Visca

Hier doppelklicken, um Ihren eigenen Text hinzuzufügen.

See me, feel me, touch me ... hear me & heal me ...

emotional closeness mediated by the way of hearing

ARS ELECTRONICA 2021 / A New Digital Deal / pp. 172 - 173


Hana Zeqa, Laura Thaçi, Elisabeth Mirnig & Werner Jauk (2021)[1]



Technical mediatisation has pressed space and time into all-at-oncenss, it has abolished the separation between work and life, between public and private - but with information transmission systems that do not allow the presence of bodily negotiation, but only information about it in the symbolic form of representation. In the process, the meaning of interaction with inanimate as well as animate matter of negotiation is lost as "primary meaning" for the body. This form of mediatisation pushes the body out of negotiations; ultimately, orders impose order, symbolic as cultural forms that ultimately serve the orderers, the lawmakers.

In the case of the employers, this is legitimised by the possession of the means of production, these are omnipresent in the services of the information society, knowledge legitimises this claim to power here.


In principle, this cut, given by the separation of work and life, is effective as a cultural distinction between rational and emotional roles as long as information systems do not become communication systems and social as informal processes of negotiation replace formal laws.


This is not an anarchic threat to seemingly democratic culture, which is ultimately a hierarchy through these divisions. Informal as human action is governed by the intentionality of body-environment interaction. In pre-Enlightenment understanding, intentional is being in tension. Arousal striving for a homeostatic state necessary for survival regulates all exploratory behaviour, negotiation is a bodily survival process. Ethical as pro-social behaviour shows itself in bodily proximity and serves to increase survival power, aesthetic behaviour is its play-field for optimisation.


Prior to all sense modalities formalised in the arts, hearing as a remote sense consists in being abstract perception of arousal through the intensity of movement that excites and moves the body, which in turn, expressed bodily, leads to the bodily co-movement of other bodies - hearing is a stimulative collectivising perception of common moodiness.

Sound is directly bodily giving primary meaning and thereby collective and collectivising, wherein social and ethical qualities are integrated. Disembodied negotiation of the legal text can be seen as mediatised behaviour, in which it is also distanced from social and ethical qualities.


The enrichment of information with this kind of communication can now bring information, linked with bodily meaning, together with ethical behaviour at the same time having a communicative effect. Bringing corporeality into media information systems turns them into communication systems of a humane kind.

The paradigm of sound-gesture and its emotional contagion can serve to strengthen the stimulative emotionalising effect of the lower senses; it can additionally give seeing, as an iconic imaging and as an indexical recognition and symbolic naming of things in the process of cultural semiosis, this primary meaning as an original meaning. By this these processes enrich rational (thinking of geometric relationships of the body to the environment derived from seeing) with emotionality, with excitement as an ethical quality. This will reduce the danger of losing self-determination through laws that invade privacy, close to primary meanings, from the world of work in neoliberal systems. In general, this will bring emotional closeness into information over distance and thus bring information alive as a bodily arousing quality - touching the breath of the voice.



Based on these theories, the project See me, feel me, touch me ... hear me & heal me ... is methodologically epistemological media art, that expands cognition from understanding to experience; theory and method identify it as part of AERI auditory culture, which makes post-digital as human culture of corporeality experienceable in the paradigm of hearing.

Determining characteristics of sonic performative proximity-stimulation are experimentally transferred to air movement, ultimately sound, and smell in an amplifying manner. Finally, the paradigm of hearing is mapped onto the phylogenetically younger seeing in order to enrich understanding with primary meanings of corporeality through iconic images and symbolic designations of what is seen. In doing so, it is important to minimise the distance of cognitive thinking through the proximity of the pre-cognitive body, to reflect on the life-regulating intentionality of any body-environment-interaction.


Interactors have the opportunity to experience how information exchange in a form that externalises and "amplifies" the meaning of this information for their body as physical/psychic meaning leads to a process of communication, to reduce distance but also to increase distance. In the process, appropriately sensitive clothing will adapt to the wearer's state of arousal in its shape and colour and transmit these qualities as an interface close to the body into the social space of the interaction partner; the actors are thus in each other's mood space, at the same time their own mood can be experienced by themselves through their clothing as amplified externalised feedback - internal and external participants can experience a gap or fusion of the private emotion spaces in the social space.

Depending on one's own experience of the other's physicality, a communis becomes a one-sound or a distinction, a two-sound.


This multimedia / modal whole-body experience of complete agents, whose interaction is (imitatively) exaggerated by an artificially intelligent system, it makes primary meaning experienceable as meaning for the body in the communication process.


The installative setting juxtaposes two walk-in "mobile phone screen" spaces. These serve as interaction systems for excitation-induced interaction with other interactors. Their juxtaposition is the cognitive irritation of experiencing closeness and distance in relation to emotional and physical distance - emotionally close and far at the same time, independent of physical distance, which is not possible in unmediated worlds.

The visual styling is based on the TikTok aesthetic and thus refers to a technology as an interaction system that enables visual karaoke of pop songs on the principle of the sonic performative, the excitement-determined self-expression and the creative interaction with other interactors - privacy and publicity merge.


As part of popular culture, the TikTok aesthetic deconstructs techno video art through the availability of its means, collective and collectivising design of the net arts through its exaltation and finally the art & life claim in the hedonism of popular culture of neoliberal market economy - against all admonitions of modernity, sonic performative youth of sound-dominated pop culture has informalised and individualised corporeality.

[1] Sincere thanks are given to Florian Gokl for his support in the development of software, Barbara Haspl for her support in organisational issues and Elisa Visca for her support in audio-design/-programming.

Supported by:

artwork: Elisa Visca

artwork: Elisa Visca

Die dominante Rolle von Musik als Instrument der Mächte, aber auch zur persönlichen sozialen Positionierung und emotionalem Mood-Management nicht nur im Alltag einer Erlebniskultur ist vielfach empirisch belegt. Das jüngst Wieder-Aufkommen von auditiven Medien kann als Seismograph der unterschwelligen Wahrnehmung der Verschiebung von einer visuellen zu einer auditiven Kultur betrachtet werden - dennoch: "auditory culture" beschreibt mehr als den kulturellen Umgang mit sound als dessen studies. Abseits dieses durch den Begriff sound definierten objektorientierten Zuganges mit den Implikationen des Werk-Denkens verbunden, beschäftigt sich "auditory culture" mit dem Hören als adäquate Interaktionsform des Menschen mit einer mediatisierten Welt - mit der Alternative zur visuell rationalen Kultur, die uns bislang in allen Erscheinungen des Lebens umgab, die wir meist unreflektiert als "normal" betrachteten - im Verstehen, als Davor-Stehen und Licht ins Dunkel zu bringen um ein rational aufgeklärtes Verständnis der Welt zu haben ... die Etymologie dieser Worte belegt die visuelle Dominanz unserer aufgeklärten modernen Kultur.

Nicht was verstehen wir von der Welt sehend aus einem Blickwinkel, sondern wie erleben wir die Welt hörend rund ums uns - das ist hier die Frage ... Hier, in einer mediatisierten Welt, die sich durch Mediatisierung und damit Entfernung und Lösung von der Körperlichkeit dem verstehenden Denken entzieht, das schließlich aus embodiments und cognitions körperlicher Interaktion mit der Umwelt hervorgeht.

Nach der Transgression der Kultur des mechanistischen Denkens durch die Mediatisierung des mechanischen Körpers (in robotics der digital ages) und dadurch der Dynamisierung und Digitalisierung des Alltags ist ein turn von der Dominanz der visuellen Kultur zur auditiven Kultur beobachten - die "all-at-onceness" der medialen Welt erschließe sich dem Körper durch sein Verhalten, das ihm den Hör-Raum zu erleben ermöglicht - durch hörend kontrollierte Körper-Umwelt-Interaktion.

Es ist das Konzept "sound-gesture", das auditives Verhalten beschreibt - die primär abstrakte Impression von Bewegung rund um den Körper und die Expression der "primären Bedeutung" der Wahrnehmung für den Körper als dessen Bewegtheit, physiologische Erregung. Sowohl Bewegung als auch die Bewegtheit des Körpers sind unmittelbar kommunikativ und führen zu entsprechenden emotionalen und körperlichen Mit-Bewegungen, individuell wie in Bewegungen von Massen.

Die Rolle der "sound-gesture" in jegliche Form von Kommunikation ist das theoretische und empirische Zentrum der Gestaltung und damit Erforschung der auditory culture - als Inhalt ebenso wie als Methode in Labor-Experimenten und epistemologischer Medienkunst.

"Sound-gesture" ist das Paradigma einer hedonischen Interaktion nach der Transgression des Mechanistischen (JAUK). Unser mechanisches als "instrumentelles" körperliches Verhalten ist durch die zunehmende Extension des Körpers unnütz geworden (BAUDRILLARD), es bleibt jedoch die hedonische Komponente menschlichen Verhaltens, die das "Wie" einer Interaktion mit der Umwelt bestimmt - mit physischen und virtuellen, mit sozialen und kulturellen Umwelten die sich dadurch herausbilden in der Verschmelzung des hedonischen Körpers mit der einst digitalen Kultur in einer nun post-digitalen Kultur.

Der angewandt forschende Teil der "auditory culture" ist ein Prozess der Transposition des Hörens auf eine Kultur und damit die "Anwendung" des Hörens als Transmedium in allen ihren Lebensbereichen.

Sound-gesture ist die körperliche Basis vieler kultureller alltäglicher funktionaler Interaktionsprozesse. Auf diesem Wissen und seiner technischen Umsetzung basiert Design von funktionalen sounds innerhalb einer "Werk"-orientierten Ästhetik über Gestaltungsprozesse mittels intuitiv emotionaler Interfaces von wo/man-machine- zu wo/man-wo/man-Interaktionen schließlich hin zum sozialen Design, zur Initiierung sozialer als emotionaler Klimata in Medienwelten.

Konkrete Bereiche sind neben der direkten musikalischen Anwendung und Arbeit in der Klanggestaltung vor allem die zwischenmenschliche Kommunikation sowie jene zwischen Menschen und Maschinen in virtuellen Umwelten, somit Kommunikation und soziale Architektur im Allgemeinen. Dabei ist die Formung des feelings durch "sound-gestures" übertragen auf emotionale intuitive Interfaces, ihre Formalisierung in der AI bereichert um AE, eine Forderung für eine künstliche Intelligenz, die bereits Marvin MINSKY stellte.

Wissen auf der Basis von erregungsbestimmtem Verhalten aus Körperwissen, in der experimentellen Aesthetik formuliert, wird auf die intuitive Gestaltung jeglicher Umwelt übertragen. Die experimentelle Ästhetik bietet auch ein Modell für die experimentellen Philosophie / XPHI, als erregungsbedingte ethische Handlungsweisen von Menschen, nun geregelt von homöostatischem Überleben durch den evolutionären Vorteil der Gemeinsamkeit; Ergebnisse entsprechender Forschungen werden auf Entscheidungsverhalten von autonomen Systemen übertragen.

Diese gestaltende Interaktionsform ist letztlich eine ganzkörperliche - dem Konzept des "complete agent" entsprechend ist im multimedialen Verbund sound-gesture ein Teil, jedoch ein bestimmender Teil emotionaler Kommunikation, die den "Unterton" von Information, den "Tonus" als "primäre Bedeutung" in Form von Spannung des Körpers, bestimmt und damit unmittelbar und transmedial auf das "Wie" des "Was" der Wahrnehmungen aller Sinnesmodalitäten und Medien übertragen wird - zur emotionalen Gestaltung des Alltags. "Sound-gesture" ist damit das basale Paradigma menschlicher Gestaltung einer damit humanen "auditory culture".

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