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: 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: Paul C. Jasen
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2017-08-24
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: Anahid Kassabian
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2013-03-01
How does the constant presence of music in modern life—on iPods, in shops and elevators, on television—affect the way we listen? With so much of this sound, whether imposed or chosen, only partially present to us, is the act of listening degraded by such passive listening? In Ubiquitous Listening, Anahid Kassabian investigates the many sounds that surround us and argues that this ubiquity has led to different kinds of listening. Kassabian argues for a new examination of the music we do not normally hear (and by implication, that we do), one that examines the way it is used as a marketing tool and a mood modulator, and exploring the ways we engage with this music.
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: Julian Henriques
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2011-09-08
The reggae sound system has exerted a major influence on music and popular culture. Out on the streets of inner city Kingston, Jamaica, every night, sound systems stage dancehall sessions for the crowd to share the immediate, intensive and immersive visceral pleasures of sonic dominance. Sonic Bodies concentrates on the skilled performance of the crewmembers responsible for this signature sound of Jamaican music: the audio engineers designing, building and fine-tuning the hugely powerful "sets" of equipment; the selectors choosing the music tracks to play; and MCs(DJs) on the mic hyping up the crowd. Julian Henriques proposes that these dancehall "vibes" are taken literally as the periodic motion of vibrations. He offers an analysis of how a sound system operates - at auditory, corporeal and sociocultural frequencies. Sonic Bodies formulates a fascinating critique of visual dominance and the dualities inherent in ideas of image, text or discourse. This innovative book questions the assumptions that reason resides only in a disembodied mind, that communication is an exchange of information, and that meaning is only ever representation.
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: 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: J. Martin Daughtry
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-09-01
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.
Author: Jordan Lacey
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2016-06-02
Sonic Rupture applies a practitioner-led approach to urban soundscape design, which foregrounds the importance of creative encounters in global cities. This presents an alternative to those urban soundscape design approaches concerned with managing the negative health impacts of noise. Instead, urban noise is considered to be a creative material and cultural expression that can be reshaped with citywide networks of sonic installations. By applying affect theory the urban is imagined as an unfolding of the Affective Earth, and noise as its homogenous (and homogenizing) voice. It is argued that noise is an expressive material with which sonic practitioners can interface, to increase the creative possibilities of urban life. At the heart of this argument is the question of relationships: how do we augment and diversify those interconnections that weave together the imaginative life and the expressions of the land? The book details seven sound installations completed by the author as part of a creative practice research process, in which the sonic rupture model was discovered. The sonic rupture model, which aims to diversify human experiences and urban environments, encapsulates five soundscape design approaches and ten practitioner intentions. Multiple works of international practitioners are explored in relation to the discussed approaches. Sonic Rupture provides the domains of sound art, music, creative practice, urban design, architecture and environmental philosophy with a unique perspective for understanding those affective forces, which shape urban life. The book also provides a range of practical and conceptual tools for urban soundscape design that can be applied by the sonic practitioner.