Workshop on Third Listening, second session

February 27, 2024

Please join us for this day-long workshop where we’ll open a collaborative space for exploring creative and critical modes of listening, organized and facilitated by Brandon LaBelle,  Anna Orlikowska and Katía Truijen.

March 23, 2024 / 10:00–17:00 at If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution's space in the WG-Terrein

881 WG-Plein, Amsterdam, Holland


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In his work on public culture, John Dewey draws attention to the importance of listening in fostering shared orientation and cooperative action. Listening, as the philosopher highlights, functions to build public opinion by keeping one close to dialogical encounter and process. Such views lead Dewey to emphasize “trans-actional listening” over “one-way listening”. The concept of trans-actional listening, as the basis for an enriched democracy, requires a deep sense of response-ability in which prior meanings and dominant vocabularies are put on hold. Within such a holding environment, we emerge as “apprentices of listening rather than masters of discourse” (Gemma Fiumara).


In what ways might the model of trans-actional listening relate or impact onto current social experiences? Is it possible to act as an apprentice of listening, and how might this affect conceptualizations of agency as well as our practices? If listening can be said to form the ground of “dialogical democracy”, what kinds of social or institutional structures can we imagine to support this? As Walter Parker argues, “listening and speaking to strangers about powerful ideas and public problems—that is, governing—signals a citizen’s coming-of-age.” 


Following these perspectives, we’re interested to collaboratively inquire into what it might mean to speak and act as a “listening citizen”. To facilitate such inquiry, the concept of Third Listening will be proposed as a research framework so as to nurture new thinking and creative work on listening practices. Third Listening is offered as a path for speculative, explorative research onto questions of listening and public life, and what it might mean to listen and speak to strangers about powerful ideas and public problems.


Please join us for this day-long workshop where we’ll open a collaborative space for exploring creative and critical modes of listening. The day will include a morning presentation by Brandon LaBelle (artistic director, The Listening Biennial), who will map key references and offer insight into questions of listening citizenship as a propositional concept. This will be followed by an afternoon workshop focusing on group discussions and reflections on the creative potentiality of listening, and in what ways trans-actional listening is suggestive for particular methodologies and ways of practicing. We will also spend time listening and engaging with specific creative examples, and sharing individual concerns and questions that can contribute to future work. We strive to invite you into a respectful, caring and creative space, so as to enhance our individual and collective listening citizenship. 


A home-cooked vegetarian lunch will be served for free.


The workshop is developed in the context of The Listening Biennial, and its current research into Third Listening as the basis for the next edition of the Biennial scheduled for 2025.