Within a contemporary state of increasing polarization, environmental catastrophe, and for many either political fatigue or revolt, in what way does listening offer a meaningful artistic and critical practice; a pause from speaking up, taking space, defining and describing? How does listening offer a space and practice for reflection and care? 


Bureau for Listening are the happy recipient of a Testing Ground residency at Art Hub Copenhagen, where we will engage into and test different possible listening practices. This page is thought/conceptualized as a site of organizing and collecting material within this Testing Ground; a kind of ongoing living archive…

Project description of the Testing Ground Residency:

Bureau for Listening seeks during their Testing Ground residency to explore and test listening as something that excitingly questions the familiar, assumed and the known. The bureau will over the course of 4 weeks, spread out over 4 months, dive into and respond to four themes/practices of listening; Listening as a Framework (January), Slow Listening (February), The Listening Body (Marts) and Spatial Listening (April). The experiments and programming of the four weeks, together with invited partners, will both build upon and challenge the experiences from each other, offering a chance to learn, also from failure. Each week will be starting with research, experiments etc., leading towards a returning public gathering and sharing (Listening Event I-IV). Listening is not a phenomenon sought to be defined during the residency, but rather one to be cared for, and its potential and power shared with the public.

We have asked our invited guests, as part of our documentation of the Testing Ground for listening, to write/or in other ways share an afterthought. This is a chance to contemplate and document how the Testing Ground have affected our collaborators over time – a chance to keep holding space for emerging thoughts and feelings…

On the Listening Events I-IV: 


AHC : Art & Research : Testing Ground : Bureau for Listening : Listening Event (I-IV)


On the last evening of each Testing Ground week, Bureau for Listening is happy to invite you to a Listening Event. The specific program for each event will be planned during the testing week, and therefore unknown until arrival and participation in the event. We hope that you will trust us in this endeavor.


Each Listening Event is conceptualized as a gathering and sharing moment, centered around the listening theme/practice of the week, and as a chance to share findings, practices, knowledges, questions and wonderings – a chance to celebrate and promote listening. It may contain program elements such as public lectures or presentations, discussion sessions, listening exercises (collective or individual), research experiments, etc. We seek to make the Listening Event embody the theme itself… in the manner possible.

Inspirational or framing quote for the Testing Ground from The Listening Biennial: 


Within today’s intensely polarized environment, in which political and social debate often tend toward conflict or impasse, might listening enact an intervention? While focus is often placed on making statements, capturing history, and the importance of free speech, listening is radically key to facilitating dialogue, understanding, and social transformation. To listen is to extend the boundaries of the familiar, the recognized, and the known. In addition, listening affords more egalitarian, decolonized, and ecologically-attuned relations, staggering exclusionary systems and human exceptionalism by way of empathetic, attentional, and more-than-human orientations: to hear beyond the often fixed schema of self and other. Listening is a power, it may open and hold, it may support and attend, and it may afford escape and deep friendship. And yet listening is greatly undervalued and neglected across society.”

(The Listening Biennial, written by Brandon Labelle).

Following as inspiration and framing:

We ask that listening is practiced as a transdisciplinary phenomena, that is to be experienced and implemented across the humanities, arts, and societies. Listening is for us understood as more than the hearing of audible signals; rather, we experience how it supports a range of relevant processes and projects, including, but not limited to: emotional and social recognition, fostering community relations, establishing attunement and discovery across human and more- than-human worlds, co-learning, and decolonial, eco- feminist initiatives. We consider listening as a creative inquiry and sensitivity; one that stimulates a caring and artistic being-with.



In what way is to listen also to acknowledge and give thanks? How may one’s acknowledgement of support allow one to listen more carefully?  


Even now when the project is still evolving we believe it is important to share and acknowledge on-goingly who and what we entangled with and are supported by.

We would like to thank the following people and circumstances for supporting our work with the Testing Ground residency at Art Hub Copenhagen: 


  • With gratitude to the institution and the whole team of Art Hub Copenhagen, which as any institution operates as a whole (names appearing following the order on the website of Art Hub Copenhagen): Susanne Hviid, Jacob Fabricius, Lars Bang Larsen, Stine Nørgaard Lykkebo, Jan Mäkelä Wallin, Marie Braad Larsen, Nikolaj Phillipsen, Rose Tytgat, Fafaya Mogensen, Emil Basse.


  • With thanks to all the invited collaborators (in chronological order): Brandon Labelle, Jenny Gräf Sheppard, Carolyn F. Strauss, Christine Hvidt, Nana Francisca Schottländer, Barbora Kováčová, Louise Vind Nielsen, Elizabeth Holager Lund.


  • And to friends, participants and supporters of more specific encounters/contributions: Arendse Krabbe, Nanna Hauge Kristensen, Claudia Lomoschitz, Jenny Gräf Sheppard, Maria Karlsson (& Eddie :), Cecilia Wendt, Morten Søndergaard, Anna Nacher, Lucy Cathcart Fröden, Ania Mauruschat, Kara Oehler, Marie Koldkjær Højlund, Nana Francisca Schottländer, Amalie Sejersdahl, Randi Lindholm Hansen, Lukas Lund, Freja Kreutzfeldt, Yi Ten Lai, Katrine Faber,


  • We also need to acknowledge our families and/or primarily support bases, and other non-directly participating friends and collaborators for helping us with the whole of the project, and furthermore the structures and privileges that have placed us in a position with these possibilities. 


  • While we give thanks, we must also recognize our own labor for and struggle with building and maintaining the Bureau for Listening. Furthermore, we must also remind ourselves to recognize how any engagement with us (for which we give thanks) is equally a difficult prioritization of resources and potentially a withdrawal from other important engagements.


As we strive to be forces who are carrying and supporting others, we may listen for and to the forces (human and non-human) who too are carrying and supporting our existence and give them thanks.