Uniform for Listening

How can a uniform for listening enhance and strengthen our listening?


What makes up such a uniform for listening?


What makes the idea of a uniform for listening you wonder upon?



Bureau for Listening is interested in developing a series of different uniforms that each will differently enable sudden kinds of listening or are well suited for specific ‘listening-activities’.


These uniforms will vary from a unique artistic workwear, to more stereotypical corporate wear, to more conceptual pieces.

Uniform for Listening #I

Uniform for Listening #I

Developed by artist Roe Ørslev and developed in relation to a residency at Metropolis – Copenhagen International Theater.

The uniform should be practical for outdoor activities, as the residency evolved around a 24 hour open Field Office for Listening, but at the same time allow a more senuous and closer connection to nature. It should help the listener engage with the earth, with the wind, etc.

Roe wrote a text to be embroidered and place on the inside of the uniform:

Inside embroidery by Roe Ørselv. Frontside.
Inside embroidery by Roe Ørselv. Backside.

Description and material outline:

Boiler suit painted with different kinds of paint and latex to give the surface depth and different levels of shine. Added canvas and embroidery with fabric from an old shower curtain and yarn. Some bits of the shower curtain has been let loose to add movement and liveliness to the suit.


Recycled boiler suit, acrylic paint, wall paint, latex, canvas fabric, recycled shower curtain, cotton fabric, thread, embroidery yarn.


Listening as work. What does a uniform of listening look like? Is it a catalyst for listening or a suit that holds you back, make you stay in your own world, so that you won’t be attentive to what happens around you?

Quotes of politicians not listening only answering with prepared answers, black holes of indifference which will devour everything or an erratic state where it’s difficult to focus? Do you need your nerves and senses to actually listen? A fur of antennas? If you listen it will leave a print. A blueprint of sound waves.

Chaos and sound waves. All these constant sounds can seem silent. You need to focus. You won’t hear them unless you start to focus…

The suit ended up trying to tell that story. How you have to zoom in and be present to really listen. It’s not about hearing – it’s about listening.

Through different material tests with paint, text and motion of fabric this became the first attempt to make listening as work.

Process documentation.
Uniform for Listening #I
Uniform for Listening #I

Uniform for Listening #II

This more conceptual phase #II will be a series of it own consisting of different potential uniform pieces with the text ‘Uniform for Listening’ printed/embroidered/etc. upon.


We wish to explore the potential of openly engage with an audience about what such a uniform could. This series could be considered a research phase for other uniforms to come.

Uniform for Listening #II
Uniform for Listening #II
Uniform for Listening #II
Photo Mateusz Szota / SPOR festival.
Photo Mateusz Szota / SPOR festival.

Uniform for Listening #III

In our attempt to facilitate a physical manifestation of the bureau we are slowly developing a uniform based on the concept of the corporate/office uniform. Formel, anonym, easy decodable and authoritarian.


We have started this phase as part of our manifestation as a Laboratory for Listening at SPOR Festival.

Uniform for Listening #III Members of the bureau during its openings hours.
Uniform for Listening #III Members of the bureau during its openings hours.
Embroidery for Uniform for Listening #III
Uniform for Listening #III Members of the bureau during its openings hours.

Uniform for Listening #IV

Bureau for Listening have been a lucky receiver of a ART IS WORK uniform by the artist collective Apparatus 22 (Ro/Be) through their exhibition at Kunsthal ExtraCity, Antwerp Belgium.


This little Uniform for Listening IV is a simple appropriation of ART IS WORK as LISTENING IS WORK.


Apparatus 22 members posing with 'uniforms'.
LISTENING IS WORK, Uniform for Listening IV