Author: Steve Goodman
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2012-08-24
Sound can be deployed to produce discomfort, express a threat, or create an ambience of fear or dread--to produce a bad vibe. Sonic weapons of this sort include the "psychoacoustic correction" aimed at Panama strongman Manuel Noriega by the U.S. Army and at the Branch Davidians in Waco by the FBI, sonic booms (or "sound bombs") over the Gaza Strip, and high-frequency rat repellants used against teenagers in malls. At the same time, artists and musicians generate intense frequencies in the search for new aesthetic experiences and new ways of mobilizing bodies in rhythm. In Sonic Warfare, Steve Goodman explores these uses of acoustic force and how they affect populations. Traversing philosophy, science, fiction, aesthetics, and popular culture, he maps a (dis)continuum of vibrational force, encompassing police and military research into acoustic means of crowd control, the corporate deployment of sonic branding, and the intense sonic encounters of sound art and music culture. Goodman concludes with speculations on the not yet heard--the concept of unsound, which relates to both the peripheries of auditory perception and the unactualized nexus of rhythms and frequencies within audible bandwidths
Author: Trevor Pinch
Publisher: OUP USA
Release Date: 2012-01-05
Written by the world's leading scholars and researchers in the emerging field of sound studies, The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies offers new and fully engaging perspectives on the significance of sound in its material and cultural forms. The book considers sounds and music as experienced in such diverse settings as shop floors, laboratories, clinics, design studios, homes, and clubs, across an impressively broad range of historical periods and national and cultural contexts.Science has traditionally been understood as a visual matter, a study which has historically been undertaken with optical technologies such as slides, graphs, and telescopes. This book questions that notion powerfully by showing how listening has contributed to scientific practice. Sounds have always been a part of human experience, shaping and transforming the world in which we live in ways that often go unnoticed. Sounds and music, the authors argue, are embedded in the fabric of everyday life, art, commerce, and politics in ways which impact our perception of the world. Through an extraordinarily diverse set of case studies, authors illustrate how sounds -- from the sounds of industrialization, to the sounds of automobiles, to sounds in underwater music and hip-hop, to the sounds of nanotechnology -- give rise to new forms listening practices. In addition, the book discusses the rise of new public problems such as noise pollution, hearing loss, and the "end" of the amateur musician that stem from the spread and appropriation of new sound- and music-related technologies, analog and digital, in many domains of life.Rich in vivid and detailed examples and compelling case studies, and featuring a companion website of listening samples, this remarkable volume boldly challenges readers to rethink the way they hear and understand the world.
Author: Paul C. Jasen
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2016-02-25
Low End Theory probes the much-mythologized field of bass and low-frequency sound. It begins in music but quickly moves far beyond, following vibratory phenomena across time, disciplines and disparate cultural spheres (including hauntings, laboratories, organ workshops, burial mounds, sound art, studios, dancefloors, infrasonic anomalies, and a global mystery called The Hum). Low End Theory asks what it is about bass that has fascinated us for so long and made it such a busy site of bio-technological experimentation, driving developments in science, technology, the arts, and religious culture. The guiding question is not so much what we make of bass, but what it makes of us: how does it undulate and unsettle; how does it incite; how does it draw bodily thought into new equations with itself and its surroundings? Low End Theory is the first book to survey this sonorous terrain and devise a conceptual language proper to it. With its focus on sound's structuring agency and the multi-sensory aspects of sonic experience, it stands to make a transformative contribution to the study of music and sound, while pushing scholarship on affect, materiality, and the senses into fertile new territory. Through energetic and creative prose, Low End Theory works to put thought in touch with the vibratory encounter as no scholarly book has done before. For more information, visit: http://www.lowendtheorybook.com/
Author: Joanna Demers
Publisher: John Hunt Publishing
Release Date: 2015-12-11
Drone and Apocalypse is an exhibit catalog for a retrospective of twenty-first-century art. Its narrator, Cynthia Wey, is a failed artist convinced that apocalypse is imminent. She writes critical essays delineating apocalyptic tendencies in drone music and contemporary art. Interspersed amid these essays are “speculative artworks”, Wey’s term for descriptions of artworks she never constructs that center around the extinction of humanity. Wey’s favorite musicians are drone artists like William Basinski, Celer, Thomas Köner, Les Rallizes Dénudés, and Éliane Radigue, and her essays relate their works to moments of ineffability in Herodotus, Aristotle, Plato, Pliny the Elder, Isidore of Seville, Robert Burton, Hegel, and Dostoyevsky. Well after Wey’s demise, the apocalypse never arrives, but Wey’s journal is discovered. Curators fascinated with twenty-first-century culture use her writings as the basis for their exhibit “Commentaries on the Apocalypse”, which realizes Wey’s speculative artworks as photographs, collages, and sound/video installations.
Author: Juliette Volcler
Publisher: New Press, The
Release Date: 2013-06-04
In this disturbing and wide-ranging account, acclaimed journalist Juliette Volcler looks at the long history of efforts by military and police forces to deploy sound against enemies, criminals, and law-abiding citizens. During the 2004 battle over the Iraqi city of Fallujah, U.S. Marines bolted large speakers to the roofs of their Humvees, blasting AC/DC, Eminem, and Metallica songs through the city’s narrow streets as part of a targeted psychological operation against militants that has now become standard practice in American military operations in Afghanistan. In the historic center of Brussels, nausea-inducing sound waves are unleashed to prevent teenagers from lingering after hours. High-decibel, “nonlethal” sonic weapons have become the tools of choice for crowd control at major political demonstrations from Gaza to Wall Street and as a form of torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere. In an insidious merger of music, technology, and political repression, loud sound has emerged in the last decade as an unlikely mechanism for intimidating individuals as well as controlling large groups. Extremely Loud documents and interrogates this little-known modern phenomenon, exposing it as a sinister threat to the “peace and quiet” that societies have traditionally craved.
Author: Marie Thompson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2017-02-09
Noise is so often a 'stench in the ear' Â? an unpleasant disturbance or an unwelcome distraction. But there is much more to noise than what greets the ear as unwanted sound. Beyond Unwanted Sound is about noise and how we talk about it. Weaving together affect theory with cybernetics, media histories, acoustic ecology, geo-politics, sonic art practices and a range of noises, Marie Thompson critiques both the conservative politics of silence and transgressive poetics of noise music, each of which position noise as a negative phenomenon. Beyond Unwanted Sound instead aims to account for a broader spectrum of noise, ranging from the exceptional to the banal; the overwhelming to the inaudible; and the destructive to the generative. What connects these various and variable manifestations of noise is not negativity but affectivity. Building on the Spinozist assertion that to exist is to be affected, Beyond Unwanted Sound asserts that to exist is to be affected by noise.
In Contagious Architecture, Luciana Parisi offers a philosophical inquiry into the status of the algorithm in architectural and interaction design. Her thesis is that algorithmic computation is not simply an abstract mathematical tool but constitutes a mode of thought in its own right, in that its operation extends into forms of abstraction that lie beyond direct human cognition and control. These include modes of infinity, contingency, and indeterminacy, as well as incomputable quantities underlying the iterative process of algorithmic processing. The main philosophical source for the project is Alfred North Whitehead, whose process philosophy is specifically designed to provide a vocabulary for "modes of thought" exhibiting various degrees of autonomy from human agency even as they are mobilized by it. Because algorithmic processing lies at the heart of the design practices now reshaping our world -- from the physical spaces of our built environment to the networked spaces of digital culture -- the nature of algorithmic thought is a topic of pressing importance that reraises questions of control and, ultimately, power. Contagious Architecture revisits cybernetic theories of control and information theory's notion of the incomputable in light of this rethinking of the role of algorithmic thought. Informed by recent debates in political and cultural theory around the changing landscape of power, it links the nature of abstraction to a new theory of power adequate to the complexities of the digital world.
Author: Stamatia Portanova
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2013
Digital technologies offer the possibility of capturing, storing, and manipulating movement, abstracting it from the body and transforming it into numerical information. In Moving without a Body, Stamatia Portanova considers what really happens when the physicality of movement is translated into a numerical code by a technological system. Drawing on the radical empiricism of Gilles Deleuze and Alfred North Whitehead, she argues that this does not amount to a technical assessment of software's capacity to record motion but requires a philosophical rethinking of what movement itself is, or can become. Discussing the development of different audiovisual tools and the shift from analog to digital, she focuses on some choreographic realizations of this evolution, including works by Loie Fuller and Merce Cunningham. Throughout, Portanova considers these technologies and dances as ways to think -- rather than just perform or perceive -- movement. She distinguishes the choreographic thought from the performance: a body performs a movement, and a mind thinks or choreographs a dance. Similarly, she sees the move from analog to digital as a shift in conception rather than simply in technical realization. Analyzing choreographic technologies for their capacity to redesign the way movement is thought, Moving without a Body offers an ambitiously conceived reflection on the ontological implications of the encounter between movement and technological systems.
Author: Robin James
Publisher: John Hunt Publishing
Release Date: 2015-02-27
When most people think that “little girls should be seen and not heard,” a noisy, riotous scream can be revolutionary. But that’s not the case anymore. (Cis/Het/White) Girls aren’t supposed to be virginal, passive objects, but Poly-Styrene-like sirens who scream back in spectacularly noisy and transgressive ways as they “Lean In.” Resilience is the new, neoliberal feminine ideal: real women overcome all the objectification and silencing that impeded their foremothers. Resilience discourse incites noisy damage, like screams, so that it can be recycled for a profit. It turns the crises posed by avant-garde noise, feminist critique, and black aesthetics into opportunities for strengthening the vitality of multi-racial white supremacist patriarchy (MRWaSP). Reading contemporary pop music – Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Calvin Harris – with and against political philosophers like Michel Foucault, feminists like Patricia Hill Collins, and media theorists like Steven Shaviro, /Resilience & Melancholy/ shows how resilience discourse manifests in both pop music and in feminist politics. In particular, it argues that resilient femininity is a post-feminist strategy for producing post-race white supremacy. Resilience discourse allows women to “Lean In” to MRWaSP privilege because their overcoming and leaning-in actively produce blackness as exception, as pathology, as death. The book also considers alternatives to resilience found in the work of Beyonce, Rihanna, and Atari Teenage Riot. Updating Freud, James calls these pathological, diseased iterations of resilience “melancholy.” Melancholy makes resilience unprofitable, that is, incapable of generating enough surplus value to keep MRWaSP capitalism healthy. Investing in the things that resilience discourse renders exceptional, melancholic siren songs like Rihanna’s “Diamonds” steer us off course, away from resilient “life” and into the death.
Author: Jean François Augoyard
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
Release Date: 2014-06-22
Never before has the everyday soundtrack of urban space been so cacophonous. Since the 1970s, sound researchers have attempted to classify noise, music, and everyday sounds using concepts such as Pierre Shafer's sound object and R. Murray Schafer's soundscape. Recently, the most significant team of soundscape researchers in the world has been concerned with the effects of sounds on listeners.
Author: Kodwo Eshun
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2018-10-09
The classic work on the music of Afrofuturism, from jazz to jungle More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction is one of the most extraordinary books on music ever written. Part manifesto for a militant posthumanism, part journey through the unacknowledged traditions of diasporic science fiction, this book finds the future shock in Afrofuturist sounds from jazz, dub and techno to funk, hip hop and jungle. By exploring the music of such musical luminaries as Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Lee Perry, Dr Octagon, Parliament and Underground Resistance, theorist and artist Kodwo Eshun mobilises their concepts in order to open the possibilities of sonic fiction: the hitherto unexplored intersections between science fiction and organised sound. Situated between electronic music history, media theory, science fiction and Afrodiasporic studies, More Brilliant than the Sun is one of the key works to stake a claim for the generative possibilities of Afrofuturism. Much referenced since its original publication in 1998, but long unavailable, this new edition includes an introduction by Kodwo Eshun as well as texts by filmmaker John Akomfrah and producer Steve Goodman aka kode9. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: J. Martin Daughtry
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Iraq War, 2003-2011
To witness war is, in large part, to hear it. And to survive it is, among other things, to have listened to it--and to have listened through it. Listening to War: Sound, Music, Trauma, and Survival in Wartime Iraq is a groundbreaking study of the centrality of listening to the experience of modern warfare. Based on years of ethnographic interviews with U.S. military service members and Iraqi civilians, as well as on direct observations of wartime Iraq, author J. Martin Daughtry reveals how these populations learned to extract valuable information from the ambient soundscape while struggling with the deleterious effects that it produced in their ears, throughout their bodies, and in their psyches. Daughtry examines the dual-edged nature of sound--its potency as a source of information and a source of trauma--within a sophisticated conceptual frame that highlights the affective power of sound and the vulnerability and agency of individual auditors. By theorizing violence through the prism of sound and sound through the prism of violence, Daughtry provides a productive new vantage point for examining these strangely conjoined phenomena. Two chapters dedicated to wartime music in Iraqi and U.S. military contexts show how music was both an important instrument of the military campaign and the victim of a multitude of violent acts throughout the war. A landmark work within the study of conflict, sound studies, and ethnomusicology, Listening to War will expand your understanding of the experience of armed violence, and the experience of sound more generally. At the same time, it provides a discrete window into the lives of individual Iraqis and Americans struggling to orient themselves within the fog of war.