Montage of the Senses.

By Posted in - Life Journeys on December 11th, 2013 06dugdale.spectacle

This piece offers an ethnographic exploration of perception in order to consider the role of light, vision and the senses in the constitution of lived experience. When a person encounters the disappearing light of the gloaming, a subtle but significant re-configuration of their sensory organs and nerve cells takes place, which alters the way the external world is interpreted and affects the basis upon which many actions and responses are carried out, including haptic sensitivity, hand-eye coordination, proprioception, movement and the sound and range of the human voice. The gloaming does not wholly belong to the visibility of day or the invisibility of night but mediates the two by retaining traces of daylight and a presentiment of the darkness to come or vice versa. Consequently when a person enters the gloaming the sensory organization of their body is shaped by a past already gone and a future yet to arrive.

The largest and heaviest sense organ of all, the human skin, becomes much more sensitive as light diminishes and the diurnal arrangement of the senses becomes realigned in accordance with the human organism’s anticipation of night-time. The skin is generally less than two millimetres thick (Jablonski 2004) and connects directly to a network of underlying nerve terminals that continuously relay information about the external environment to the brain. Insofar as the skin is sensitive to light it can be said “to see” but unlike the eye and other sense organs, such as ears, eyes, nose and tongue, the sensitivity of the skin is distributed across the whole body surface rather than being localised in one part, with nerves being particularly concentrated in areas such as the face and fingertips.

At the same time as the sensitivity of the skin is increasing, smell and hearing also become more acute, while the eye becomes less effective. The eye’s retina, which can be understood as an important extension of the brain, plays a key role in configuring spatial knowledge and establishing the body’s relationship to its surroundings through what is termed retriocentric perception, i.e. the co-ordination of the position of eye and body relative to other objects in the environment so as to enable movement and allow objects to be acted upon effectively (Ward 2006). During the gloaming, retriocentric and other forms of visual perception become less precise: objects, materials and shapes take on uncertain forms, people’s distinguishing features and expressions become less clear, making their intentions and actions more difficult to discern. Even familiar rooms, streets and buildings can become ambiguous spaces of reverie and possibility, demonstrating the frequency with which physiology and imagination meet within people’s interpretation and appreciation of their surroundings. Such shifts in sensory perception, receptivity and activity are part of the body’s wider capacity to reorganize its intentional and attentional abilities when encountering different qualities of stimuli, including the intensity of available light and other kinds of visual information. The brain continually selects, fills in and edits information about the external environment to the extent that for every nerve pathway that conveys information for visual processing there are many others going the other way (Gregory 2005). This demonstrates how neither the external reality nor the perceiving body are stable insofar as they are both in a continuous process of transformation throughout the day. Thereby reinforcing how people’s perceptions are not direct reflections of reality but are instead hypotheses about the world, formulated by brain and body and open to imaginative intervention.

I would argue that there is an interesting and effective metaphorical correlation between the physiological and imaginative reconfigurations that occur during the gloaming hour and those experienced by persons during the onset of blindness. In fact, the metaphor of the gloaming was first suggested to me by John Dugdale, a photographer from New York who I began working with in the 1990s, to describe his descent into blindness. John was a successful fashion and design photographer whose clients included Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart and who gradually began losing his ability to see in his early thirties as a consequence of HIV/AIDS. Although John’s commercial work was extremely well paid, his long-standing ambition was to earn a living making fine art. Even as a child his greatest aspiration was to have a photograph exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art but this was largely relinquished once he started down the commercial path. John’s success in the fashion and design industry meant he was able to live in a farmhouse in the country and also run a studio in the city. One morning in 1993 he woke up, had some tea and toast for breakfast, and then left for the city where he had an appointment for a photo-shoot. After reaching the city, John began feeling disorientated, lost consciousness and collapsed onto the pavement. He was found and taken into hospital where it was discovered he had undergone an HIV/AIDS related stroke. Consequently, John never arrived at his appointment and instead spent the following months in hospital. From now on John would never see, touch or move amidst the world’s surfaces and textures in the same way again.

While in the hospital John’s condition rapidly deteriorated and over the following weeks and months he suffered six more strokes and also contracted viral meningitis and pneumonia. Aside from the intense pain, John was too weak to get out of bed and so he also experienced the severe fatigue that takes over when lying down for days on end: of having one’s habitual perpendicularity removed and having one’s flesh continually press down on a bed without being able to get up or move around, together with all the associations of infantilization that accompany being in such a state. To return to Straus’s observations on upright posture, it is not just that John’s sensory experience of the world was transformed due to his horizontal confinement but also the wider moral associations of being an upright and independent human being. Moreover, John had by now lost control over many of his body functions and had to wear baby’s diapers, which his mother, brother and sister would come in to change as he was too weak to change them himself. Here was a man who had just turned thirty-three, the age of Christ’s death, a man supposedly in the prime of life who was too weak to stand or get out of bed and was almost wholly dependent upon nursing staff and his family for his most basic needs.

Spending extended periods in bed constitutes part of the apprenticeship to illness. Nevertheless, a bed-ridden person is not a passive entity but continues to make their daily experience by way of their thoughts, movements and actions: whether to spend the hours gazing out of the window listening to the radio, entering into the world of a novel or closing one’s eyes and imagining oneself elsewhere.  During extended periods of illness people can often be found dwelling in times and places far beyond the confines of the bed as assemble life’s material into complex montages of memory and emotion that move from regret to hope to melancholy (see Irving 2009). Illness is radically differentiated through action, for example a person who turns away from social contact and spends their day looking at a wall is also closing down their sensory nervous system by reducing external stimulation, while another person may attempt to retain a sense social and existential continuity amidst the disruption of illness by making conversation and forming relationships. For a person such as John, whose profession made him so attentive to his visible surroundings, being confined to the limited visual world of a hospital bed was a distressing experience, and his pain filled imagination would journey afar in time and space, juxtaposing the man and the boy, repeatedly returning to his childhood and creating montages of his life, his past deeds, his choices, as well as venturing forward in time to his impending demise and constructing stark contrasts between sickness and health, life and death.

After a while, John began noticing that parts of his visual field had begun to disappear. Where he once saw the world he now saw nothing but blackness while other parts seemed to be covered by a mottled veil. As time passed more and more of his visual field diminished and most disconcertingly the centre of vision began to disappear. Our bifocal eyes placed on the front of the head take in a panorama of nearly 180° that encompasses almost everything in front of the shoulders, however less than 1/1000 of the visual field is actually in focus while the vast majority remains vague and blurry (McCrone 1999). This is why our eyes are in constant motion, by way of saccadic movements that occur on average three to five times per second and ensure that dramatic variations in focus and acuity are not noticed (Gregory 2005). Furthermore, completely undetected by the person (and much like an unnoticed edit), visual information is switched off between eye movements so as to avoid the potential disorienting and nauseous effects that are also found when watching unsteady or frenzied camera movement.

John, who had learnt to see through his culture and profession, now had to use the increasingly weak awareness on the periphery of his visual field because he no longer had sight in the centre. He’d move his head and eyeballs in an attempt to ‘look around’ the blackness, but the blackness would follow and smother the object of his attention. Slowly, John had to learn a new way of coordinating eyes, head and world in order to see and interact within his environment. By now, tests had revealed that John had Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis. CMV is a common DNA virus that is part of the Herpes family and infects the majority of the adult population. Whereas healthy immune systems keep CMV at bay, for persons with HIV/AIDS whose immune systems are compromised, the virus can cause substantial cell death across the body. Unfortunately for John, CMV had entered his eye and had begun eating away the light receptor cells in the retina. After a few months John had already lost 50% of his sight, although other aspects of his health had begun to stabilize and he was able to sit, walk slowly and perform some basic functions unaided.

On one occasion, a close friend was visiting John in the hospital. They were sitting and talking in the hospital corridor when she went to get them a coffee. When she returned she noticed John was bent over, sobbing tears, and her first reaction was to drape herself over him. While she was getting the coffee, John had been informed that neither surgery nor medication would be able to stop his sight from deteriorating and that most likely it would continue to deteriorate until he was blind. The months that followed were akin to a slow and extended gloaming, and like a craftsman desperately trying to work at the end of day John tried to make the most of the remaining light. Should he look at his dog, at an encyclopedia of the world’s great paintings, at his own work? He actively scrutinized the world more intensely than he ever had as a photographer, drinking up colors, faces, patterns, textures, flowers and storing them up for when blind. John studied the face of his mother, her hairline, every slight discoloration and wrinkle, her mannerisms and expressions, her face while smiling, while talking and when at rest. He looked at his brother, his sister, at the woodiness of wood, at red and blue, the transparency of glass and the reflection light makes on ceramic surfaces. John’s actions reinforced the notion that memory is not simply a property of the past but also of the future insofar as our actions in the present create the memories and knowledge we will have access to in our forthcoming life. In choosing where to look John undertook an active creation of his memory, scrutinizing the present to create what he would remember in a blind future. Most of all John wanted to remember what he himself looked like, wanted to create an image of himself at thirty-three years old that he could hold on to but also update in the future years as he aged. It was not, however, a photographic image that he strived for but a cinematic one couched in movement.

By the time he left hospital, John had lost all his sight in one eye, while in the other eye he was almost completely blind save for a tiny, heavily obscured crescent through which he could vaguely discern certain shapes and a degree of light and dark. John’s brother took him to the farmhouse and away from the speed, chaos, traffic and intolerant pedestrians of New York’s crowded streets. This was where John was going to learn to re-inhabit his body and renegotiate the world. It was now several months since he awoke that fateful morning to leave for the city; and as he felt and made his way around the farmhouse he found the empty tea cup that he had drunk from that day and next to it his fingers found the plate and the remainder of the toast which had hardened over the intervening months. Little could John have imagined while eating his breakfast that morning that he would not return until many months later – almost completely blind—his life undermined and career as a photographer in ruins.

Unsurprisingly, John found the once familiar creaks and noises in the farmhouse disconcerting, especially after months of hospital noise in which machinery, footsteps, conversation and the sound of work dominated. In the hospital John’s senses existed in an environment where the human body meets biomedical technology; a complex montage of anti-septic aromas, metal-trolleys, commodes, whirring-sounds, overcooked food, plastic-sheets and staff-banter. Now in the farmhouse he was confronted with the absence of such sounds and smells, and was also set the task of re-acquainting himself with the sensory properties of his once familiar house. Most immediately, John had to learn how to orientate himself in the house by touch, texture, sound and smell; had to learn how to create new associations between sense and space. He kept banging into things, grazing his shins, falling over and hitting his head. He went outside where there was no furniture, doors or walls to act as obstacles but lost his balance on uneven ground, slopes and ditches, bashed his face, got black-eyes and stumbled into a thorny unforgiving hedge. Scratched, bruised, bloody, covered in mud, he went back inside and headed to bed. As he could no longer read he decided to put a book over his face and lay there crying while smelling the warm paper pages which were now mixed with his tears: a book whose very purpose was to be looked at but now experienced through scent, the texture of paper on one’s face and the memory of what words look like.

As a photographer, John had not just lost the vast majority of his sight but also his livelihood and capacity for work. As a human being he was facing further illness and most likely an early and painful death. Consequently, John saw few possibilities for the future and very little purpose in living. He began planning his own death, in fact many deaths, but there was one death in particular that he kept returning to: namely the idea of committing suicide in the bath clutching a letter with his arm hung over the side. More specifically it was David’s painting of the radical journalist and medical physician, Marat, lying murdered in the bath, which haunted John’s imagination. Marat would frequently spend long hours in the bath and would work and even receive friends, colleagues and visitors while bathing. It was one of these visitors, a young French woman called Charlotte Corday who asked to meet him to discuss political affairs, that ended up murdering Marat in his bath with a knife she had bought earlier that day and had hidden under her clothes. David portrays Marat laying slain in the bath, arm draped over the side, clutching his assassin’s letter.


In envisioning his suicide, John planned for his body to be found in his bath in the same position as Marat, his arm dangling, by whoever entered and found him. It is a scene that immediately juxtaposes two images: the first of John laying lifeless in the bath in an instantly recognizable iconic pose, the second image then cuts to a close up of the face and reaction of person who found him, no doubt a close friend or family member and most likely his mother. The intensity and vividness of the expression that John imagined on the face of his mother—a face that he had actively studied during his personal gloaming and remembered so well—as she found her son dead in the bath, was matched in scale and volume by the realization that even though John was now nearly completely blind he still possessed an aesthetic imagination and therefore could still create images of the world in his mind’s eye.

Soon after, John began earnestly creating new images in his mind and imagination. These were often informed by the painful and degrading experiences of illness in hospital—only recast as a series of dramatic and beautiful enactments—or else they depicted quotidian acts and pleasures that are informed by the simple fact of being alive when one should be dead. So for example, the moment when John was told in the hospital corridor that he was going to lose his sight and his friend draped herself over him was transformed into an image in John’s mind in which the moment is re-enacted with John naked and his friend draped over him (see “My Spirit Tried to Leave Me” below). While the experience of being emaciated and unable to get out of bed to urinate in the hospital—and instead having to use an overflowing plastic container—was recast as a highly stylized recreation of a man at the height of his physical health about to urinate into an antique porcelain chamber pot. If in these examples we can discern not a continuous film take but a constant back and forth between images of disease, degradation, incapacity and their opposites, then we are also reminded that human beings are only intermittently “able bodied”.


John now employs an assistant, Dan Levin, who operates John’s antique nineteenth century camera. John creates images in his mind and describes what he sees to his assistant, who looks through the camera and describes back to John what he can see. Through a process of descriptive negotiation the two images come closer together and when the images are more or less the same the picture is taken. In order to understand this process better, John suggested he photograph me and create a series of images that not only allowed me to observe the working process from the outside but also as the subject of the photograph. The images John formed in his mind’s eye were an attempt to represent the ongoing dialogue we shared over the summer of 1999, where we would meet, ostensibly to discuss the relationship between terminal illness and perception, but would end up spending hours talking about many varied subjects from Walt Whitman to Fox Talbot. John explained how the image he constructed of me in his imagination had formed gradually in response to the ideas we discussed, the expressions I used and the tone of my English accent. This then informed the series of tableaus he created, which began with me sitting naked and in profile on a wooden chair facing John across a wooden table.

The process relies heavily on the ekphrastic dialogue that is created between John and his assistant Dan. Ekphrasis, coming from the Greek Ek (out) and phrasis (to speak), relies upon the translation of one form into another, which in our case can be understood as the verbal representation of a visual phenomenon. In constructing an artwork, John is required to translate the image he forms in his mind’s eye into language, which he describes to Dan, who then constructs an image out of John’s words. Dan then looks through the camera and puts into words what he can see through the lens, at which point John translates Dan’s words back into a visual image and compares it to the image he already has in his imagination. And so the process continues until the image of the world in John’s mind and the image Dan sees through the camera lens are more or less equal. John would continually ask Dan about certain distinguishing features, such as what my face was communicating, what I looked like in profile, from the front and so forth, and would adjust the image in his own mind, while Dan would move and manipulate the camera in order to represent John’s inner vision. The ekphrastic dialogue created by John and Dan brings into being a series of images, first by rendering into language what John sees in his mind’s eye and then by making this manifest in the visible and material world. Here language forms a bridge between inner vision and the external world, in which information travels back and forth, so as to create a series of associative montages that seek to strengthen and stabilize the relationship between mind and world rather than destabilize it.

Because of the difficulty in translating visual images into written or verbal language, the images John creates are necessarily, even radically, simplified. For while a quick glance can take in a vast amount of visual information about the world, say a crowded street (Casey 2007), to accurately describe everything one sees in that street in language would be an enormous, even impossible task. John is thus required to reduce the image held in his mind down into its essential lines and materials, and as a consequence his photographs are characterised by an elegant simplicity that has emerged as a consequence of the damage to his retinas. Here John is in good company, for in later life Cezanne too began to wonder whether the distinctiveness of his landscape paintings was wholly or in part a product of his ‘trouble with his eyes’, leading Merleau-Ponty to conclude ‘although it is certain that a person’s life does not explain his work, it is equally certain that the two are connected. The truth is that that work to be done called for that life’ (1994: 70 italics in original). Likewise, it is probable that none of John’s current artworks would exist without his HIV diagnosis and subsequent contraction of CMV Retinitis insofar as they too called for him to live the life he has. Would he have abandoned his career as a successful fashion photographer in order to create a body of photographic work whose enforced simplicity and very existence is a direct consequence of living with a retrovirus and its effects on his eyesight? At the very least this suggests an intimate correlation between John’s art and his experience of living with an unstable, immune-compromised body. Of course we must also acknowledge the historical, cultural, political, economic and discursive influences on John’s art as these also shape the way he constructs images in his mind’s eye. However, given that it is not always possible to establish how these influences are realised within each piece, I would argue that we need to begin with the ontological certainty of the artwork itself. That is to say the fact of its production under conditions of severe visual impairment and at a specific point during John’s illness trajectory.

This shift in emphasis, from understanding art through discourse and “My Spirit Tried to Leave Me” (John Dugdale 1994)            signification, to understanding it through its bodily production—including the challenge of making art amidst the radical disruption of illness or with an unstable body—opens a space for an aesthetic appreciation of art in which it is possible to think about how sensory perception and experience become incorporated into the material existence of the artwork itself. When asked to describe his art John said “I realized that my vision has remained intact and how this has little to do with the fact that I can no longer see through my eyes. When people come to sit for the nude portraits, I also take my clothes off regardless of whether I am also going to pose in the shot or not, partly because clothing now seems so ridiculous after spending so much time in the hospital. In many of my photographs, people are naked because to me it seems like you’re closer to each other, to God, to the cosmos or even to the ground”.

Perhaps it is also God’s work, or simply an uncanny coincidence, that an ocean apart the British filmmaker and artist Derek Jarman—who was also HIV+ and also lost his sight to CMV retinitis—made his very last, and to many, best film Blue during the very same year of 1993 that John started going blind. Blue consists of a simple blue screen juxtaposed with a complex narrative describing the effects of going blind. Moreover, it is perhaps yet another coincidence that Jarman uses a similar quality of blue in his film that John uses in his photographs. Here Jarman recounts the relationship between his condition and the color blue in an excerpt from his film’s narration:

My sight seems to have closed in. The hospital is even quieter this morning. Hushed. I have a sinking feeling in my stomach. I feel defeated. My mind bright as a button but my body falling apart – a naked light bulb in a dark and ruined room. There is death in the air here but we are not talking about it. But I know the silence might be broken by distraught visitors screaming, “Help, Sister! Help Nurse!” followed by the sound of feet rushing along the corridor. Then silence:

Blue protects white from innocence

Blue drags black with it

Blue is darkness made visible

Blue protects white from innocence

Blue drags black with it

Blue is darkness made visible

(Jarman 1993: Blue)


Excerpt from Blue                                       John Dugdale


In witnessing a simple montage of the different qualities of blue found in Jarman’s film and John’s photographs—or indeed between the two artists’ experiences of CMV retinitis—we have no way of knowing whether there is a more elemental correlation between the blue they encounter in their mind’s eye, and so instead must rely upon their images and accounts of what they see and experience during blindness.

One of the most insightful and detailed accounts of what blind people see, is to be found in the diaries John Hull kept throughout the 1980s. Hull, who was a professor of religion and theology at the University of Birmingham, kept a daily record of his descent into blindness. It is interesting to read through Hull’s diaries in order to trace the decline of his visual perception and journey into blindness. During the initial phases of his blindness he describes experiencing intense, random and often extreme, montage like sequences in the form of vivid visions and hallucinations that are caused because the brain’s visual pathways are no longer getting visual information from external sources and so the brain starts producing its own images. Hull (1992) then documents his descent into what he calls ‘deep blindness’—which is different in quality from the type of blindness that John Dugdale describes—in that his mind’s eye has also become blind, leaving no visual stimulation at all:

How long do you have to be blind before your dreams begin to lose color? Do you go on dreaming in pictures forever? I have been a registered blind person for nearly three years. In the past few months, the final traces of light sensation have faded. Now I am totally blind. I cannot tell day from night. I can stare into the sun without seeing the faintest flicker of sunshine. During this time, my dreams have continued to be pictorial. Indeed, dreams have become particularly enjoyable because of the colorful freedom which I experience when dreaming.

(John Hull: Diary Entry: 1st June 1983)


It distressed me considerably when I realised that I was beginning to forget what Marilyn and Imogen looked like. I had wanted to defy blindness. I had sworn to myself that I would always carry their faces hidden in my heart, even if everything else in the gallery was stolen. I am beginning to lose the category itself. I am finding it more and more difficult to realise that people look like anything, to put any meaning into the idea that they have an appearance.

(Diary Entry: 21st June 1983)


What Do I Look Like? I find that I am trying to recall old photographs of myself, just to remember what I look like. I discover with a shock that I cannot remember. Must I become a blank on the wall of my own gallery? To what extent is loss of the image of the face connected with loss of the image of the self?

(Diary Entry: 25th June 1983)

Whereas, John Hull lost all traces of his sight, including that of his mind’s eye, John Dugdale continues to see and construct the world though his imagination. It is uncertain as to whether John Dugdale’s being a trained visual artist who actively continues to work in the visual realm despite being blind, plays any role in him retaining his inner vision while John Hull lost his. In 1978, the French painter Hugues de Montalembert, was staying in New York City when he was attacked when returning home one night and disturbed two men robbing his apartment. In the ensuing struggle, one of the men threw paint remover into his face which burnt into his eyeballs and by the next day had rendered him blind. De Montalembert relates the experience of blindness in his autobiography, Eclipse, which was recently made into an outstanding film, Black Sun, by Gary Tarn. Tarn places random as well as intentional images against de Montalembert’s voiceover thereby producing a series of chance juxtapositions, associations and tangential montages to astounding effect. In describing his initial days of blindness (in his book) de Montalembert writes:

I am afraid that the memory I have of the visible world is disappearing little by little, to be replaced by an abstract universe of sound, smell, and touch. I force myself to visualise the bedroom with its metal furniture, its window, the curtains. I bring to mind paintings, Rembrandt’s Polish cavalier, Francis Bacon’s portraits of Innocent X.  My ability to create images absolutely must not atrophy. I must remain capable of bringing back the world I looked at intensely for thirty-five years. By contemplating in my memory the volcano of Lombok or the perfect harmony of a building designed by Michelangelo, I continue to receive instruction and knowledge from them (1982: 32-33)


     Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X (Francis Bacon: 1953) 

In Black Sun, de Montalembert describes how he developed an ability to sense objects in space by way of what is termed ‘face-vision’: a phenomenon that is a widely reported ability in blind people (see Kells 2001 for a comprehensive survey of object detection by face-vision in medical studies). When de Montalembert was undergoing rehabilitation, he had to learn to walk in a straight line, at first under controlled conditions, and then outside on the street under guidance. He was then shown how to orientate himself through the sound and air-waves that traffic produces, as this forms a “sonic edge” that allows people without sight to orientate themselves and navigate in a straight line. Later on, unbeknown to de Montalembert, a blackboard was placed halfway along a corridor he was asked to walk down. He stopped abruptly inches from the blackboard, and when the instructor asked why he stopped, de Montalembert replies because he can sense that there is an object in his way: he tells the instructor that he can go round it, over it or under it, which the instructor confirms and informs him that the object is a blackboard on an easel placed there to test his face-vision.

Hull too, developed a sophisticated face-vision to the extent that he could accurately navigate across a park while walking to work, and could even detect specific individual trees through the tactile air currents that registered on his face, illustrating how the loss of one way of sensing and relating to the environment generates new forms of body::world interaction.

I first noticed that walking home over the campus in the quiet of the evening I had a sense of presence, which was the realisation of an obstacle. I discovered that if I stopped when I had this sense, and waved my white cane around, I would make contact with a tree trunk. This would be no more than three, four or five feet from me. The awareness, whatever it was, did not seem to extend beyond this range, and sometimes the tree would be as close as two feet. It was through sensing these trees, and verifying their exact location with my stick, that I gradually realised that I was developing some strange kind of perception. I learned that I could actually count the number of these trees which I would pass along the road leading down to the University gate the months go past, sensitivity seems to be increasing.

Not only have I become sensitive to thinner objects, but the range seems to have increased. When walking home, I used only to be able to detect parked cars by making contact with my cane. These days I almost never make contact with a parked car unexpectedly. The experience itself is quite extraordinary, and I cannot compare it with anything else I have ever known. It is like a sense of physical pressure. One wants to put up a hand to protect oneself, so intense is the awareness. One shrinks from whatever it is. It seems to be characterised by a certain stillness in the atmosphere.  On one of my walks, I pass beside a five-foot-high fence made of vertical metal bars. This gives way, at a certain point, to a solid brick wall. I find that if I pay attention I can tell when I have left the fence and am going along the wall. There is, somehow, a sense of a more massive presence. I gather from conversations that this experience is essentially acoustic and is based upon awareness of echoes.

(John Hull Diary Entry: 14th July 1983)

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