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In this paper, I will explore the possibility of reading Bataille’s pineal eye as a critical challenge towards non-hierarchical mode of perception, and employing it in the stream of discussion on art, particularly focusing on the auditory experience. I discuss the pineal eye in reference to Bataille’s idea of contagion as the communication and transmission of the excess, which, I assume, underpins his project of the Accursed Share. This exploration is nurtured by the case study of two figures, who firstly explored the understanding of sound in the age of industrial overcharge on the human body and perception either in the realm of warfare or of everyday life; the futurist painter and composer Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) and a German Jewish voice trainer, Alfred Wolfsohn (1896-1962). They experienced the First World War at an unprecedented scale of industrial warfare in human history, and in their works and practices, drew attention to the tremendous capacity of human perception opening up in the extremity of physical/psychological overload in violent circumstances. They witnessed the excessive energy in the horrendous experience of warfare particularly through auditory experiences and tried to employ it in their creative practices. I assume here that their works demonstrate the possibility of the limitless malleability of human perception that embodies Bataille’s idea of the excess that is fundamentally contagious and transmittable between different entities and phenomena.


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