Manifest for listening composed by proposals.
This is a continuous evolving manifest. It is a manifest as a container. A container for possibilities and perspectives. It is composed by different proposals for listening. These proposals might one day be carried out, acted upon. Some might remain as words, an idea or dream, a proposal. We propose proposals for listening as a hopeful starting-point.
We propose to reserve one day every week for a day of silence. We propose to make every Tuesday a day for silence. This day could, with time, become a day of listening. Like a day of fasting.
We propose to include listening as a human right in our national constitutions. And if it proves difficult to get our politicians on board, we propose to protest – protest by listening, and by dening listening for those who we oppose – as in the ancient play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, where the greek women denied their men sex to stop a war. We are unsure of the consequences by weaponizing listening.
We propose a full-time job position as a public listener. We do also propose to make it possible for anyone to apply for public listening funding for up to six months, where one can spend its time listening, before returning to previous occupation.
We propose to have a burial ceremony for listening. Where we will be listening for 1 minute carefully and respectfully for the ceased listening.
We propose an epic battle for listening. Set in a landscape with big grass fields surrounded by snow-covered mountains. We propose a cast with thousands of extras holding the stand together. Listening together, while the sun sets slowly behind the flanks, and the listeners await the attack of the ignorant hordes… We propose a victory for the listeners.
We propose a pause for reevaluation.
We propose a silent dinner.
We propose that you trust, as we enter a space and time for listening.
We propose we offer each other care and healing in the form of listening rather than in form of industrial produced pills.
We propose new classes and courses in our schools focusing on the act of listening – where the teachers are not experts, but good friends.
We propose to cover all commercial posters with a new poster asking: “What if I listened to you?”
We propose a world museum for listening. We propose not to locate this museum in Europe, and preferably not in a city. We also propose to make a traveling version of the museum.
We propose more blank pages in books as a gesture and reminder for listening [insert blank pages in this proposal]
We propose to start the day with listening.
We propose to send listeners rather than spies.
We propose a city council, where each meeting has included in its agenda a obligatory moment for listening.
We propose to listen – to face the truth – to live.
We propose to listen. We propose to listen with your face turned towards the sun. We propose to listen with your eyes wide open, with your lungs filled and your heart beating heavily. We propose to listen with a soundless beat hammering through your body and further into the ground. We propose to keep listening. To keep listening further and further. Deeper and deeper. We propose we keep listening while the cold and late evening wind challenge our grounds. We propose to keep listening while the sun sets. To keep listening while the violence continues endlessly. We propose to keep listening together with the distanced stars as our allies. To keep listening with the night and the cold. To keep listening alone and in despair. We propose to never stop listening. To never lay down our listening. We propose to keep listening when falling. To keep listening to the end. We propose to listen with our hearts. We propose to die as listening.
We propose not to associate a color with listening.
We propose to make a soundproof and soundless room, which you can enter at your own risk. We propose to use this room as a place for torture and pleasure.
We propose a children’s game, where different players must collaborate in the attempt to foster listening (We propose the children’s game is played by adults).
We propose to include listening as an olympic discipline.
We propose to tax those who don’t listen. We propose a variable taxation between 5-60% extra tax.
We propose in silence to build a temple for listening.
We propose sending out letters with manuals for, poems about and invitations to listening.
We propose to combine any state election with a series of listening sessions with the nominated candidates instead of fast paced and aggressive tv transmitted discussions.
We propose to start an institute for listening at every university, which then shall host a cross disciplinary research program and include disciplines such as philosophy, physics, religion and IT. The conducted research at the institute for listening shall never be presented as facts, or even as conclusions, but always as an invitation to interact and entangle in a new sensitive way.
We propose a kind of listening that is bad, hurtful and evil. We propose this seriously.
We propose not to associate a color with listening.
We propose to learn about listening from the birds. To follow them everywhere.
We propose to write an epic epos with listening as some kind of Gilgamesh-ish god, who in a childish way discovers different kinds of meanings through listening.
We propose not to use proposals as a guidance or a framework for listening.
We propose to make an honest capitalistic advertising bureau called: “FUCK LISTENING.”
We propose to evaluate countries by their ability to listen rather than their BNP or military capacities. We also propose not to use listening as a way of evaluation. And if possible, we would like to propose to stop evaluating countries. We propose to apology for this proposal.
We propose hugging another being as a listening practice. We propose to add that no hug shall ever be automatic or instrumentalized.
We propose to lay down all arms. We propose we lay down together on the ground. Next to the dead weapons. We propose to lay down, and listen to the bright blue sky.
We propose to invite a group of strangers to sit together and listen. We propose to dress them up fancy and serve them hot tomato soup while listening.
We propose to rewrite the bible in a way that makes space for fostering and understanding listening as divine being. We propose less people to die, be raped, haunted and live in despair in this version of the bible. We propose to add to the libraries multiple rewrites of books which seriously demonstrates a lack of listening.
We propose to add a dimension to the universe. A dimension of listening.
We propose to create a secret society of listeners with the goal of secretly ruling the world. We propose this society to send out listeners and infiltrate organizations worldwide.
We propose to make a nice comfortable bed, perhaps with a heavy duvet and a soft pillow, where people can come, lay down and listen. Fresh air will be accessible.
We propose a library for listening. A place with books about, for, and as listening. We propose not to hire a librarian, but to let the place be self-organized.
We propose to set up microphones to which people can tell their deepest and most troubling secrets. People can also just tell what they need to share, or what others need to hear. The recordings shall be part of a large art installation and as records to build the future on. We shall not alter people’s voices (earlier proposal suggested a monochrome voice filter).
We propose to set up a house in each town, which shall be filled with white noise. Inside the house at scheduled or unscheduled hours, will a listener be available for anyone in need. We propose to set a sign in the front yard saying: “This house is filled with white noise. There is sometimes someone inside to listen to you. We hope you will enter, perhaps just for a moment. It will be at your own risk – please, don’t let that discourage you.”
We propose to baptize people by listening. We propose not to set up a specific ritual for baptism by listening.
We propose to let a big global furniture company sponsor a series of listening benches to be set up in cities, in forests, at the shore of lakes, in people’s private homes and on the top of mountains. Some benches should also be put up in places where very very few human beings will use them. We propose to insist that each listening bench in the series is unique.
We propose to make a collection of objects used by people to listen deeper and more sincere with.
We propose to ask everyone to leave a wish for, or perhaps a manual to, listening, rather than a testament when they die. These documents shall be collected and shared publicly by what we propose to call the ‘death listeners’.
We propose to investigate if people who listen rarely die earlier than people who listen often. We also propose to investigate the life quality of those who never get listened to… We will then use these findings in shaping the politics for a new health program.
We propose to make a definition of life quality which incorporates listening.
We propose a fine dining menu accompanied with the act of listening. This extends to the chefs, interior, ingredients used etc.
We propose a week-long hike in silence for almost 100 kilometers. We propose to begin this from the small town of Kerteminde on the Island of Fyn, Denmark.
We propose to empty a whole city for people from 9 am to 3 pm once a month, in the attempt to give the city a chance to listen to its own non-people aspects.
We propose to set up a sanctuary for listening. A place where people can come, perhaps on pilgrimage, and find shelter in their pursuit for listening. We propose this sanctuary to be placed either with a view over the sea, in a cave or in an unpretentious housing complex in a suburb of a larger city . In the case of a benefactor or access to a large amount of funding, we propose to realize multiple sanctuaries with a day’s walk between them.
We propose listening as an art historian practice, without purposefully having an actual concept or manual for this practice.
Hand written proposals
Proposals for Listening proposed during a landscape-residency at Metropolis:
Proposals for Listening, proposed during a residency at Arts Letters and Numbers:
We propose to meet as a group, sit in each other’s silences for a minimum of 30 minutes while listening to the voices of the studio.
We propose to greet new arriving visitors and artists with listening rather than a welcome.
We propose to make everyone visiting Arts Letters and Numbers on Mondays close their eyes for the whole duration of their visit as a way to enhance their listening. We propose that anyone already staying at Arts Letters and Numbers join this effort, or support those discovering the place, its people and the art blindly.
We propose to set-up a room at the House on the Hill where people can redraw to for a moment of silence and mediation. We Propose this room to be the largest room.
We propose collective walks in the surrounding landscape of Arts Letters and Numbers where no one leads the direction of the walk, but all stay together.
We propose preparing meals together as possible practice for listening.
We propose to consider listening, making art, living together as the result of applied ecological thinking.
We propose gathering an unspecified number of objects which call for your attention for any reason. We propose to consider these objects as; Objects for Listening, start a discussion group for why the objects are so. We propose to create a registration system, where specific listening-information regarding the objects can be described. The objects should be documented and together with the registrations form an ‘Archive for Objects for Listening’.
We propose listening to be recognized and compensated as ‘work’, and not just as a service or value provided for free by the few and used by the most.
We propose sending out a hand-written letter to everyone in Averill Park saying: “Hello. Kind regards from someone who tries to listen.”
We propose to invite 15 of the most powerful leaders in the world to an artistic-based peace-summit at Arts Letters and Numbers, where we will engage in listening as an art form and powerful negotiation tool for a world in peace.
We propose listening together to the water boiling up in the kitchen.
We propose to require from all staying at Arts Letters and Numbers an answer to the following questions:
- What would you wish for, that you have listened more to?
- Which sounds do you miss right now?
- If you could close your ‘ears’, what would you close them from?
We propose to always have a shelter as a practice for listening.
We propose to have the residents at Arts Letters and Numbers leave little notes for each other, in which they describe a sound they can’t themself hear at the place where the notes are left. The finder of a note must then go looking for the sound and carry the note on them until they find the sound.
We propose to whisper to the ghosts that we are not afraid.
We propose not to meditate but rather just sit in silence for minimum 30 minutes.
We propose offering each other moments of silence as an act of care. We also propose to weaponize our silence and listening as tools for radical change.
We propose to arrange a concert where the audience is asked to wear highly protecting earplugs for the duration of the concert. Different artists will be invited on the premise of ask to play, but barely heard.
We propose a piece consisting of sounds that you can’t hear, but still feel (for example sounds below 20 Hz). We propose to play this piece in a dark large hall. In here the audience will be asked to move towards the feel of the piece, in darkness. At some point the first piece will finish, and a second leading to the exit of the hall will start. This piece will be called ‘Music for Dark Feelings’.
We propose to sit out in the snow some time during the night, and just listen… until our bodies start to hurt. We propose afterwards to take care of our bodies as we warm them up again as a practice for listening.
We propose to state before all listening activities that listening is also work.
We propose running through thick snow with happy faces.
We propose to have a long and open-ended conversation with Diane and Rob (friends of Arts Letters and Numbers) about their 40+ years on-going Friday breakfast club called ‘Onion and Liver’ – and ask them how they have experienced listening through the breakfast club.
We propose to sit still in a public space for an hour with a sign saying: “Here to listen”.
We propose to create a special meeting room – one that enhances listening – a meeting room for listening.