Proposals for Listening / Arts Letters and Numbers

We propose proposals as a practice for listening.*


We propose to create a series of proposals for listening while in residency at Arts Letters and Numbers. These proposals will all be directed within the realm of listening and sensitive to the contexts of Arts Letters and Numbers.


We propose to understand proposals as an articulated dream and possibility for change – an opening in which we can learn, fall, wonder, listen and breath… we propose to take proposals seriously.


Some of these proposals will be carried out during the residency, others perhaps in due course.


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.

*Working with proposals in this way is inspired by the proposal-practice of Peter Liversidge, and a range of different conceptual artists who inspired Liversidge/started the practice.