The Sense of Common Self

The project is an inquiry through aurally-informed aesthetic research practices into the collective emergence of sense.


The artistic research project “The Sense of Common Self” is part of the research framework How to Live Together in Sound? Toward Sonic Democracy. Within this framework “The Sense of Common Self” is conceived as fundamental research in relation to the question “how to live together in sound?” and the concepts of “(sonic) environment”, “(sonic) commons” and “(sonic) democracy”.

For these purposes, this project aims at outlining the concept of the “common self”. Drawing from the enactive concept of self and the relation between self and world defined by Merleau-Ponty, the common self is understood incipiently as a collective autonomous system that emerges out of a network of human and non-human individual selves, and that enacts its own domain of significances. On this basis, the “sense” of common self is conceived, on the one hand, as the process of sense-making enabled by the common self through the perspective it embodies: a first-person-plural perspective. Concepts such as “sonic environment” and “sonic commons” are understood here as crystallizations of the sense enacted by the common self when operating in the sonic medium. On the other hand, the “sense” of common self refers to the form of appearance of this self and the intentional acts that enable this appearance. The leading idea in this regard is that the common self is first and foremost sensed before it can be perceived and conceptualized. 

This project realizes these inquiries predominantly in the medium of sound, that is, through practices of and informed by hearing and listening. This practices aim, firstly, at inducing the temporary constitution of common selves, secondly, at sensing their emergence, and, thirdly, at providing a sensible basis for defining the concepts of sonic environment, sonic common and sonic democracy as well as for their specification in concrete milieus.

Contact information for the project

Project name

The Sense of Common Self (a sub-project of "How to Live Together in Sound? Towards Sonic Democracy")




Kone Foundation