If a tree falls in a forest ... | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

If a tree falls in a forest ...

By Luca Forcucci

[The Aleph) contains in its inarticulable shape all the relations with the universe and it is, ultimately, the universe itself. - J.L. Borges

  Discovering, casualty, accidents, improvements and knowledge encapsulate the meaning of a recently rediscovered word: serendipidity. Apparently, the origin comes from a fairy tale (Merton & Barber 2006). It refers to an ancient king that sent his sons to discover and experience the world (the three princes of Serendip). Following their quest, they had experiences; not the originally planned, but accidental and connected to their knowledge, taking them to new horizons and therefore discovered by serendipity. Real or not, the story behind the word serendipity enlightens a field of possibility for the soundwalker : While walking, one is confronted with several choices of roads, paths and sound (s) to explore. Walking (while listening) is an art practice and a mental map might emerge from the experience of the (sound) walker, the city is therefore perceived through this experience: As this wave forms memories flow in, the city soaks it up like a sponge and expands. A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira’s past. The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls. (Calvino 1974: 11) The walker is confronted with architectures, contexts, paths to follow (or not) and people to listen or not; revealing imaginary sounds emanating from the past. A constant feedback loop between the walker and the environment is activated. (Personal) Memories might arise from such observation.   Observing one self-observing Listening Walking Memory Cognition Experience   Bibliography Calvino, I., 1974. Invisible Cities. New York: Harcourt Merton, R.K., and Barber, E., 2006. The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity: A Study in Sociological Semantics and the Sociology of Science. Princeton: Princeton University Press