The cultivation of entangled listening: an ensemble of more-than-human participants

Heddon, D. (2017) The cultivation of entangled listening: an ensemble of more-than-human participants. In: Harpin, A. and Nicholson, H. (eds.) Performance and Participation: Practices, Audiences, Politics. Palgrave: Basingstoke, pp. 19-40. ISBN 9781137393173

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Adrian Howells was renowned for his intimate performance work and recognised as a leading figure in the field of one-to-one practice. To date, analysis of Howells’ work has tended to focus on issues of intimacy, authenticity and ethics in the field of performance. The thinking of Emanuel Levinas is often invoked in discussions of the one-to-one form, in particular his relational ontology of radical heterogeneity, or being-other. In this essay, I challenge current approaches by proposing instead a more radical practice of the more-than-one. My analytical turn is prompted by paying closer attention to Howells’ later work, specifically The Garden of Adrian (2009), and to his commitment to developing a ‘listening practice’ which extends beyond oral-aural connection. Listening again to Howells, and supported by the thinking of Jean-Luc Nancy, I identify what I refer to as an entangled listening. Listening in its entangled form is a dialogical listening which stretches a radical openness towards interconnections and ‘listening with’. ‘Entangled listening’ is, I argue, a model and practice of being-with-others. Recognition of such being-with-others is vital in the context of current environmental crisis, since it extends beyond the human. The ‘one-to-one’, if we listen carefully, is rarely ‘one-to-one’. The ecological proposition I make for Howells’ work is that his practice of sounding a resonant, entangled listening brings the more-than-human to ‘speech’.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heddon, Professor Deirdre
Authors: Heddon, D.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Published Online:01 October 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Palgrave
First Published:First published in Performance and Participation: Practices, Audiences, Politics pp. 19-40
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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