Aural Memory

In writing about his childhood in Berlin, Walter Benjamin reflected on the nature of memory as an analogue of hearing: “The déjà vu effect has often been described. But I wonder whether the term is actually well chosen, and whether the metaphor appropriate to the process would not be far better taken from the realm of acoustics. One ought to speak of events that reach us like an echo awakened by a call, a sound that seems to have been heard somewhere in the darkness of a past life. Accordingly, if we are not mistaken, the shock with which moments enter consciousness as if already lived usually strikes us in the form of a sound.” Please join us as media archaeologist Wolfgang Ernst and historian of science Karin Bijsterveld explore the sonic realm of memory, history, and temporality.