Das operative Ohr: Abseits der Akustik

Translated title of the contribution: The Operating Ear: Beyond Acoustics

David Friedrich

Research output: Other contribution


According to the German Cochlear Implant Society, 300.000 people worldwide have already used a cochlear implant (CI) as a hearing aid in 2011—and the number is growing steadily. But even if the number of CI wearers is (still) manageable, it can be assumed that our ’culture of hearing’ will escalate. The CI as a technological artifact is already emancipating from the usual hearing mecha- nisms by creating a short link between medium CI and other media-technical devices and, thus, excluding the acoustics. This is followed by a new consideration of hearing and associated under- standing of sound. While people without hearing impairment only have access to acoustic signals, the CI also allows the techno-mathematical world to be heard. This means that even today, the Sonik—a term introduced by media scientist Wolfgang Ernst—no longer depends on transforming sound, generated in electrical space, into audible acoustic events. Consequently, with the separa- tion of the auditory nerve from the ear’s mechanical part, the Sonik has also become an au- tonomous object of science. It carries sonikation in tow, a hypothesis that can only be presented in theory. [Notice: To prove my hypothesis, I invented The Theremin for the Deaf in 2018.] Further- more, it remains questionable what advantages a CI wearer has through sonikation, since such experienced auditory events are described as rather disturbing.
Translated title of the contributionThe Operating Ear: Beyond Acoustics
Original languageGerman
PublisherDepartment for Media Theories at the Institute for Musicology and Media Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin.
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The Operating Ear: Beyond Acoustics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this