With W/Ringing Ears: an audiovisual response





This work emerges from The Panacousticon, a performative response in the form of a script by Caroline Wilkins (2016, 109-118) to an original essay by Freddie Rokem on eavesdropping in classical theatre (2015). As a sequel it has developed into a co-authored digital work in collaboration with multi-media artist Leona Jones.

With W/Ringing Ears draws a link between the Panacousticon, a listening device invented in the 1600s by philosopher Athanasius Kircher, and both analogue and digital tools of surveillance emerging over the last two centuries, presented in the form of images of eavesdropping. It comprises a re-worked audio script based on the original and excerpts from sound recordings made from this new material. Emerging from the images is a contextual provocation on hearsay and virtual (mis-)information assailing our ears at this time of pandemic crisis, as well as the re-appearance of the original play script by Wilkins.

The oral event of philosophising rebounds from the aural one. The acts of speaking and listening lead to the act of philosophising. Thus an initial experience of immediacy develops into a joint audio-phonic work, an acoustic act, a live encounter between performance and philosophy.

Author Biographies

Leona Jones, independent

An inter-disciplinary practitioner centred on Word/Sound as event/performance, Leona uses spatiality, audio and field recordings as well as text as she seeks to highlight physicality, location and context, considering them crucial to inter-relationships between maker/word/world. Her commitment to inclusivity, collaboration, research and intuition means she questions definitions, unnoticed boundaries and assumptions. Leona gained a Masters in Performance Writing from Dartington/Falmouth University, and her work has been supported by Arts Council UK as well as individual organisations and galleries. Soundcloud.

Caroline Wilkins, independent

Independent Composer/Performer/Researcher Dr. Caroline Wilkins completed a practice-based PhD in Sound Theatre at Brunel University in 2012. She has presented at international conferences including ARTECH (Guimares), IFTR Congress (Munich), Sibelius Academy (Helsinki) and Caen University (Normandy). Publications online and in journals include Perspectives of New Music (2013), Studies in Musical Theatre / International Journal of the Performing Arts & Digital Media / Journal of Interdisciplinary Vocal Studies (2012–18) with Intellect Books, and Performance Philosophy 2 (1) (2016). She presented at the Performance Philosophy Biennial Conference 2019, Amsterdam, in conjunction with artist Leona Jones.


Collins, Rebecca, and Johanna Linsley. 2019. “Stolen Voices Is a Slowly Unfolding Eavesdrop on the East Coast of the UK.” Arts 8 (4): 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040140

Collins, Rebecca, and Johanna Linsley. 2019. ‘Stolen Voices.’ ASAP Journal, October 3. Accessed 1 December 2021. https://asapjournal.com/stolen-voices-rebecca-collins-and-johanna-linsley/

Electronic Literature Organization. 2021. “Our Role.” Accessed 1 June 2022. https://eliterature.org/what-is-e-lit/

Ian Potter Museum of Art. 2018. EAVESDROPPING, curated by James Parker and Joel Stern. Melbourne: Ian Potter Museum of Art. https://eavesdropping.exposed/

Mosco, Vincent. 2019. The Smart City in a Digital World. UK: Emerald Publishing.

Rinehart, Richard. 2006. “A System of Formal Notation for the Scoring of Digital and Variable Media Art.” https://archive.bampfa.berkeley.edu/about/formalnotation.pdf

Rowberry, Simon Peter. 2018. “Continuous, not discrete: The mutual influence of digital and physical literature.” Convergence 26 (2): 319-332. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856518755049

Rokem, Freddie. 2015. “The Processes of Eavesdropping: Where Tragedy, Comedy and Philosophy Converge.” Performance Philosophy 1: 109–18. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2015.1120

Wilkins, Caroline. 2016. “The Panacousticon: By Way of Echo to Freddie Rokem.” Performance Philosophy 2 (1): 5–22. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2016.2179




How to Cite

Jones, Leona, and Caroline Wilkins. 2022. “With W/Ringing Ears: An Audiovisual Response”. Performance Philosophy 7 (2):149-56. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2022.72350.