Une généalogie des grandes oreilles is the result of my iconographic research conducted over the past three years on what I call “Big Ears”: these military surveillance devices that call upon the act of mediated listening – an increased listening through a mediator, such as a tool, an instrument, an architecture, a system, etc. – and that the modern man has relentlessly improved with the purpose of anticipating potential dangers.
This genealogy, at first glance technical, reaches beyond the principle of lineage. In 460 images across 88 iconographic plates, I articulate my thoughts about sound through material from various registers: paintings, film extracts, technical drawings, photographic archives, etc. The reading is accompanied by an inserted booklet comprising three unpublished texts and captioned pictures annotated by myself. Exhausting, recontextualizing and shifting my subject beyond the initial military territory, this book reminds us – like Sound Studies – that the figure of a man on the lookout and listening practices are deeply intra-connected to politics, science, medicine and art.
With texts by Raphaël Brunel, Bastien Gallet and Melissa Van Drie