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swimmers

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on August 13, 2010 at 11:46:13 am
 

Swimming,” Avital Ronell (1989) tells us in the classified directory of her Telephone Book, “creates a sonic space” (p. 432). Martin Heidegger's What is Called Thinking? (as cited in Ronell 1989) offers swimming as the exemplar of activities that we can only learn about by full immersion. “We shall never learn what 'is called' swimming...or what it 'calls for,' by reading a treatise of swimming. Only the leap into the river tells us what is called swimming.”


"When Mao swims across the Yangtse Kiang, his body makes noise, the opposition between inside and outside crumbles...swimming the crawl in the bay, breathing right and then left, consequently every one-and-a-half-strokes, there are: 1) sounds propogated underwater, for example, the high-pitched sounds from very far away (boat propellers) along with their harmonics, the low-pitched sounds of bubbling left by kicking feet, especially the carillon of exhaled air bubbles that slide and burst, along the ears 2) alternately: a) when the ear out of the water is turned toward shore, all the rumblings in the city, the beach, with singular bursts of noise, a bell, fire sirens, a horn, a loudspeaker, the squeals of children taking a dip nearby, b) when the ear opens onto the open sea, the nearby lapping of waves that lick the ear, small masses of water rubbing against one another, farther away the purrings of a motor, the cries of seagulls. While doing the crawl , the body pivots, turns entirely on its longest axis, and this opens up one ear while closing the other, alternately. This movement serves as a machine for producing sounds, a musical instrument, but the noises produced by the movement itself belong to these sounds" -Jean-Francois Lyotard, "One or Several Silences" in Driftworks, page 99-100.

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