Exhibition/Installation: Tonotopia: Listening Through Cochlear Implants at the V&A

Tom Tlalim

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Tonotopia: Listening through Cochlear Implants
Tom Tlalim, 8 October 2018 – 8 March 2019
‘It’s too bad that what I hear can’t be recorded’ Charles Graser, pioneer cochlear implant recipient, 1973
Cochlear implants (CIs) enable people who are profoundly deaf to perceive sound digitally. But as they are designed mainly for speech, the implants do not accurately convey musical pitch or complex sounds. This makes it often di cult for CI users to listen to music and other dynamic sounds.
Fascinated by this unique form of hearing, artist and composer Tom Tlalim invited six people with a CI device to the V&A to participate in his research on co-designing sound art for CI users. The conversations revealed a huge diversity of experiences before and after the implant surgery and following the pivotal moment when the CI devices were switched on.
This display presents these encounters alongside objects donated by the participants and artworks created by Tom Tlalim in response to the research.
Curated by Tom Tlalim with thanks to Leanne Manfredi and Rory Hyde at the V&A, participating CI users, the AV team (Ariel Caine and Dror Shohet), Chen Wagner, Professor Maria Chait and Professor Mara Mills
Acoustic solution provided by EchophonSupported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and in collaboration with Action on Hearing Loss
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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